Zoom Making Security Updates

Posted by Sam Stone
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With so much demand for video conferences due to COVID-19 and our inability to meet face to face, products like Zoom have been at all-time highs in favorability. Like all products, when demand is at its highest is when vulnerabilities are exposed. It’s not because they haven’t been there before; it’s just more glaring now because millions of workers are thrust into a new world, the cyber world of collaboration.

Zoom has seen an increase in subscribers from 10 million to 200 million users in March alone. Imagine your own company, if you have that kind of growth. Would you be able to expand that quickly? Expand without any flaws? Zoom has some flaws, and they aren’t small ones. People started noticing uninvited guests infiltrating their meetings. It started making national news and forced Zoom to make an announcement they were “beefing up” their security in a couple of ways.

Meeting Passwords Enabled “On” merely meaning each meeting participant will now be required to enter a password before entering the meeting. Sounds good. Here is their 2 minute video explaining.

Virtual Waiting Room Turned “On” by Default. The Waiting Room is just what it sounds like; a virtual staging area that prevents people from joining until the host is ready. As the host, once you’ve entered, you’ll see the number of people in your waiting room, and you can admit them into your meeting. Here is another 2 minute video explaining.

The problem is, once you expose something, it rarely stops there. This would be the case again with Fox Business posting a headline, “Zoom under fire for security vulnerabilities, ties to China”. Yikes!

“In our urgency to come to the aid of people around the world during this unprecedented pandemic, we added server capacity and deployed it quickly – starting in China, where the outbreak began. Tn that process, we failed to fully implement our usual geo-fencing best practices,” Zoom founder Eric Yuan said.

We all talk about the need for security, protecting our data, and keeping an eye on safe practices. We can’t automatically assume the technology we’re using is infallible. President Ronald Regan had a saying, trust but verify. Do your homework and make your own decisions on what’s best for your office. Zoom is a good technology company with a reliable product, and this should serve notice even the best have growing pains and issues. What separates the good from the not so good are how fast they respond AND fix their problems.

Sources: Zoom Video Communications (email April 6, 2020);
Fox Business Report April 7, 2020