Six things you need to know about WebRTC

New standard for browser-based conferencing could shake up enterprise networks

WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) a series of designs and guidelines promoted by Google and others through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and MPEG groups to provide a common stack for audio and video communications directly between two browsers.  

WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) is a series of designs and guidelines promoted by Google and others through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and MPEG groups to provide a common stack for audio and video communications directly between two browsers.  

It already is a part of the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Opera. It will also work with Internet Explorer by using Google’s ChromeFrame plug-in.

WebRTC provides a means of video collaboration without causing concerns about vendor specific matters like gateways, client software versions and licenses and signaling techniques. In most cases it will be possible to integrate WebRTC into the vendor’s unified communications architecture. Most vendors are announcing such intentions or at least carefully watching the WebRTC growth. However, what will be the real impact of WebRTC on the enterprise and the enterprise network?  

1. WebRTC could raise security issues.

WebRTC will enable employees to do more ad hoc videoconferencing. This means there will be potential benefits, but some risks. Users won’t need vendor-licensed clients to do desktop video conferencing. So, the participants in the conference may be either inside or outside of the company. One could be an employee of a competitor. The ability of outsiders to probe into companies, by using social engineering to establish calls, will increase. Also, monitoring these calls with sniffer-like tools will raise legal questions about privacy. Currently, monitoring video that includes audio is considered wiretapping in most jurisdictions.

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