Day: April 23, 2020

Zoom is Planning to Introduce New Privacy & Security Features

As the pandemic took its toll and forced everyone to go into a complete lockdown around the globe, Zoom became quite the popular video conferencing platform among several businesses & institutions.

However, with the platform gaining popularity, there were several concerns that also surrounded the Zoom app which was relatively difficult for the organization to cope up with, in time. There were several incidents that were recorded and even publicized on social media platforms such as the infamous incident where students cat called their teachers during a lecture. On one of the occasions, an employee believed that he has silenced his microphone or shut down his camera but it didn’t actually happen.

And let’s not forget the considerable backlash developing on “zoom bombing,” a term coined for a bunch of uninvited guests dropping into your zoom channel unannounced and leaving behind unusual remarks. 

By observing such debacles taking place, Zoom recently announced the launch of the Zoom 5.0. 

The primary focus of this new version of the Zoom software is to provide increased protection to users. To do so, Zoom has added the AES 256-bit GCM encryption, which provides resistance to tampering. This newly found level of encryption will be available for Zoom Meeting, Zoom Phone & Zoom Video Webinar to give users a maximum level of comfort & security when having meetings.  

Users can easily download page for the updated software from the official website. 

The organization concluded that the system-wide establishment of the updated software would be in effect officially after the next two months. This is to be followed once all the accounts get enabled with GCM. Also, the account administrators will be able to decide which data center region accounts are hosted on. Based on the nearest data center, it will help users to connect more easily. 

According to Zoom’s chief product officer Odel Gal, 

“We take a holistic view of our users’ privacy and our platform’s security, from our network to our feature set to our user experience, everything is being put through rigorous scrutiny.”

He further concluded that the new AES 256 – bit GCM encryption would make user data in transit more secure. He also said that it would allow users to have much better security controls in their meetings. 

Since, in one of his statements, he said:

“With millions of new users, this will make sure they have instant access to important security controls in their meetings,”

The new zoom will be both reactive and proactive.

Over time and since its usage has become very common, Zoom has encountered several comments from its users. Most of these comments are nothing more than negative criticism. And these criticisms have transformed into explicit accusations once Zoom-Bombing started taking place. When people felt that their privacies are at risk, and they can’t carry out business meetings in such environments, it encouraged Zoom to take possible actions. It took the matter seriously to identify the bug, which allows hackers to steal Windows passwords. The irony went to such an extent that the company fell under the accusation of stealing personal information. They also received a lawsuit in response. 

This raised the flag for the organization, and they realized that something had to be done. 

According to the CEO at Zoom, Eric Yuan, Zoom is going to halt all projects focused on developing new features for the product. For now, they will shift their focus on the development and installation of new features, which will help them concentrate on making security features more robust and effective.

Recently, Zoom published a blog on the 8th of April, where it talked about how it has made specific changes to make the online video conferencing platform better. They spoke about including a safety measure of encouraging others to use a strong password. They also removed the Meeting ID option from the title bar and upgraded the security for features such as file sharing. Other changes helped tweak the controls and enhanced the user experience. The waiting room is now on default giving absolute authority to the host, so he can decide who is going to stay and who leaves. 

In another occasion, the Zoom team also claimed that, 

“Zoom was also quick to take actions on changing the defaults that helped address meeting privacy concerns, as well as setting a 90-day plan for deeper actions and communicating it publicly.”

So let’s hope that these changes which Zoom has recently suggested are going to make user-experience more safe and secure. If Zoom can create the ultimate experience for its customers, then it can surely earn its spot and a long term success in the world of remote working & online video conferencing. So that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed learning about the latest developments. 

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