What is VirtualNAM?
VirtualNAM is a secure, digital conferencing solution that enables parties to participate in virtual hearings and conferences remotely and conveniently. NAM’s award-winning neutrals are available wherever and whenever to resolve disputes, supported by a team of case managers with significant experience in administering matters encompassing a wide variety of legal practice areas.
NAM is a forerunner in the integration of technology and case conferencing abilities. We have been conducting conferences/hearings via videoconferencing equipment for the last 25 years and, as such, have a deep knowledge and understanding of this technology. NAM takes security, and the security of our clients, very seriously. We have multiple security measures in place, and we continue to monitor and implement additional layers of security to protect our clients. We have never had a security issue with respect to any virtual hearings/conferences.
Recognizing the increasing, yet diverse, needs of our clients for video conferencing options, NAM now offers 4 video conferencing platforms for mediations and arbitrations: Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex Meetings and Skype.
NAM’s enhanced Zoom video technology has been successfully and repeatedly used, without incident, and is NAM’s preferred video conference platform. Zoom’s ability to have break-out/caucus rooms and ease of use make it an exceptional alternative to in-person hearings.
With respect to NAM virtual ADR conferences and hearings through Zoom, all audio, video and screen sharing data is encrypted. In order to accomplish this, NAM’s videoconference platform through Zoom has specific settings that are provisioned/configured differently than the generally available Zoom commercial account. The customized settings NAM has implemented ensures that Zoom does not have access to transmitted information. Additionally, NAM meetings/hearings never use the generic https://zoom.us link used by other Zoom users. Rather, NAM uses a branded URL that is not available to the public
NAM’s customized videoconference technology through Zoom is HIPAA compliant, as it meets or exceeds the privacy and security specifications provided for by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA). As such, NAM’s videoconferencing through Zoom has specific safeguards to maintain integrity over, and compliance with, the confidentiality of protected health information (PHI).
Password protections and double layer authentications for meeting entry ensure that only permitted participants enter the meeting and that data is protected. Additionally, we further enhanced security by vesting control with the NAM Neutral, (that is, over screen-sharing content, disconnecting attendees, locking the meeting and/or terminating sessions).
The configuration of settings includes the following:
- Meeting data transmitted across the network is protected using a unique Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with a 256-bit key generated and securely distributed to all participants at the start of each session.
- Cloud recording is disabled.
- Device/user identity information in logging and reporting is removed.
- Encrypted chat is enabled – no Zoom personnel have access to customer data.
- Web and application access are protected by verified email address and password.
- Meeting access is password protected.
- Meetings are not listed publicly.
- Only the NAM Neutral can disconnect attendees or terminate sessions in progress.
- Only the NAM Neutral can lock a meeting in progress.
- The NAM session ends automatically with timeouts.
- Access to desktop or window for screen sharing is controlled by the NAM Neutral.
- Data encryption protects against passive and active attacks on confidentiality.
- Screen sharing transmits encrypted screen capture. Screen sharing cannot be recorded and, therefore, is not stored or otherwise accessible by Zoom in the Zoom environment
BlueJeans (which is under agreement to be acquired by Verizon) is an audio and video conferencing provider that contains many of Zoom’s features and functionality, including the ability to have break-out/caucus rooms. BlueJeans is easy to use and accessible from a desktop, mobile device, or web browser. NAM’s BlueJeans’ configuration has many of the same security protections that NAM’s HIPAA compliant Zoom platform offers. Enhanced features include a unique Meeting ID specific to each case, double-layer authentication for participants, data encryption, and Neutral security controls over the meeting.
Webex Meetings is Cisco’s cloud-based web and video conferencing service. NAM has been using Webex technology for years. However, it is best suited for arbitrations and mediations with only 2 participants as it does not allow for additional break-out/caucus rooms.
Skype is a group video chat application available on just about any mobile device, tablet or computer. NAM is not in a position to offer an opinion as to the effectiveness of Skype’s security levels or privacy controls/settings. However, NAM will continue to make this platform available to our clients who request it.
Key Benefits of VirtualNAM
- Collaboration: Virtual collaboration enables participants to contribute and view supporting documents from their devices at home, on the road, etc.
- Privacy: Digital conferencing solutions are designed with the highest level of security and privacy standards to ensure parties the utmost level of confidentiality expected in an ADR setting.
- Flexibility: NAM’s digital ADR conferencing solutions allow multiple parties in different locations to participate remotely, mitigating the expense, time and other factors associated with in-person conferences.
- Efficiency: The application of technology to support conflict resolution can also streamline the speed, timeliness and management of disputes.
The Success of Virtual ADR – Read what NAM clients have to say.