Zoom Video Communications has apologised for security lapses in its remote video meeting app. The California-based firm had been under scrutiny for several security issues on its platform post sudden rise in its user-base during the COVID-19 crisis.
Notably, Zoombombing has become a major concern among users and a huge embarrassment for the company in recent times. It was widely reported in the media that Zoom meetings were being disrupted by hackers showing hate images or pornographic content.
Zoom CEO assures security fix
Zoom CEO, Eric Yuan personally apologised on the company’s behalf for falling short of privacy and security expectations in a recent blog. He assured users that Zoom is promptly looking into each one of the issues and addressing them expeditiously.
Remarkably, he has also announced to freeze the platform’s all-new features to work on the security fixes. Additionally, he also wrote that the company shall assure transparency throughout the process.
Major steps announced in the latest blog by Zoom CEO were as follows –
- A 90-day freeze on development of new features
- A comprehensive review with third-party experts
- Transparency report on all requests for data and records
- Enhancing the current bug bounty program
- Launch of a CISO council in partnership with industry’s leading CISOs
- Simultaneous white box penetration tests to identify and address issues
Additionally, Zoom is also offering training sessions, tutorials, and webinars to guide users. The company would also be making efforts to educate users to better address incidents of harassment on the platform.
Zoom’s rising popularity that led to lapse in security
The global coronavirus pandemic had forced millions of employees to work from home leading to a significant increase in the popularity of Zoom.
Eric Yuan noted in his blog, “As of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million. In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid.”
However, he also admitted that the sudden rise in popularity of the app post coronavirus outbreak had confronted the company with some unexpected challenges.
He explained that the remote video conferencing platform was primarily built for large institutions with full IT support. He said that several of these enterprises have done exhaustive security reviews of the platform’s user, network, and data centre layers before deployment.
Also Read: COVID-19: Impact On Tech Companies
He went on to add that the platform was not designed with the foresight of what the COVID-19 pandemic has ensued. In a matter of weeks, people around the world have been forced to work, study, and socialize from home.
The abrupt change has led a much broader set of users to the platform who are utilizing it in a myriad of unexpected ways. Thereby, the sudden change in its user-base has presented the company with challenges it did not anticipate when the platform was conceived.
Furthermore, he also thanked security researchers and journalists for helping in identifying and uncovering pre-existing and unforeseen issues with the platform. As the world is forced to operate online, Zoom users will indeed be hoping that this lapse in privacy and security will be resolved soon.