What Zoom say they're doing about security concerns

A Zoom manager says concerns about using video app zoom are “normal speed bumps” with the emergence of a new service.

The video conferencing service has grown in popularity rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic, while millions of people are using the group video calling features to work and study from home.

But the platform has been scrutinized over a number of security vulnerabilities, including the practice known as ‘Zoombombing’, where strangers break into group chats and show explicit material from other participants.

Harry Moseley, Zoom’s Chief Information Officer, understands that he understands why some schools and companies have chosen not to use the app due to security concerns, but said the company is committed to further security updates to protect users.

The video app has since gone through a number of security upgrades and launched a 90-day program where all other product development has been halted to focus on new security tools.

Mr. Moseley said that some companies’ response to ban or stop the app was understandable when the service in question was new to many.

“Every organization requires you to conduct the security investigations – you must understand the platform and how it works,” he said.

“No organization worth the salt would ever just say” OK, I take the white paper, they tick all the boxes, let’s move “. So in those cases, many organizations will say OK, let’s review it and when it is sanctioned, we will use it.

“These are, as it were, normal speed bumps that every organization would pass through.”

Parliament is one of the workplaces that Zoom is currently using to continue to operate under the social distance rules, with MPs participating in debates and committees from home, while smaller numbers are personally present.

Mr. Moseley said the increased focus on Zoom was “challenging” and “demeaning”, suggesting that some of the issues the company faced appeared because the app previously targeted large companies with IT departments to help users , rather than individuals who use the app for personal resources.

“Security has always been at the heart of Zoom, we value our customers. We don’t consider them customers, we consider them partners – it’s all about their success, their safety, their privacy,” he said.

“It was a very humiliating experience and I think we have attracted many different parts that we did not have before, and that presents many different challenges because we are built purely for companies.

“If you’re drawn into this consumer world, they don’t have that IT organization to give them the guidelines, determine the train tracks they can run on, or tell them the best practice.

“So what you’ve seen in the past few weeks is how we’ve responded to that. We’re now starting to introduce the different controls for the different domains we maintain so they can work the blocks right away to make it an experience.

“Our goal is to help everyone through the global health crisis in the best possible way – that’s all we think about every day.”

When asked about the company’s plans after the pandemic, Mr. Moseley said the company’s “only focus” at the time was “supporting individuals while everyone is at a social distance – keeping connectivity between everyone” .

But he suggested that work patterns will change forever once the blockage is over.

“I really think there will be a big movement of workers who want to keep working from home,” he said.

“I’ve consistently heard from CEOs across industries and sectors that their employees are already asking if they can continue working from home once this is over.

“I fundamentally believe that life after corona will be dramatically different from life before corona.”

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