Reviewing Zoom’s Efforts to Improve Its Security
As a communication tool, the video conferencing app Zoom saw a considerable bump in its popularity with both personal and business users as the coronavirus pandemic made other means of meeting no longer viable. However, this sudden increase in its user base also revealed some serious security issues with the platform. Let’s examine what Zoom has done to resolve these issues since then.
Zoom’s 90-Day Security Plan
On April 1, 2020, Zoom announced that it had a 90-day plan to address the numerous security concerns and criticisms that had plagued many users. The crux of the issue was that Zoom links were commonly being shared on social media… effectively opening these meetings to anyone who could find that link. As a result, the concept of “Zoombombing”—unauthorized users hijacking meetings and sharing offensive content—was born.
After numerous attacks were waged against organizations of all kinds, Zoom saw that it needed to make some changes. Therefore, on April 1st, the company announced that it would be pausing any new features to focus specifically on those related to the platform’s security. These include:
- Passwords are now required to access all meetings
- Waiting Rooms (a space where a meeting’s guests had to wait to be approved by the host) are enabled by default
- The default settings only enable the host to share their screen
Furthermore, Zoom’s acquisition of Keybase has enabled them to incorporate end-to-end encryption. Other internal changes are also now in place including a bug bounty program, deeper penetration testing, and other security improvements.
Some Brief Controversy
However, Zoom has not escaped all criticism as it has made these changes. In June, CEO Eric Yuan shared that the end-to-end encryption feature would be exclusive to paying users. Once users and security advocates alike spoke out about this policy, Zoom quickly walked this policy back. While it is still rolling out this capacity, and it may interfere with some other features, Zoom is also actively planning for the future with its next improvements already planned out.
So, is Zoom Safe to Use?
Compared to where it was? Absolutely. However, you may still want to take what you plan on communicating into account when deciding whether to use Zoom for certain conversations, just to be safe. Erring on the side of caution is always the better option when your business communications are involved.
Whatever your business’ technology needs may be, Directive can help you find and implement the solutions to fulfill them. To learn more about what we have to offer, give us a call at 607.433.2200 today.