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by Erik Briceno

Video conferencing programs, such as Zoom, are all the rage right now. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s a great piece of technology, and being forced to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly elevated these tools, in particular this platform, to a stature that it’s never seen before. Unfortunately, Zoom was never quite prepared for this level of popularity. This became immediately apparent when Zoom-bombing began showing its ugly face in all the worst ways. Hackers are even posting Zoom user account credentials on the Dark Web.

The good news is, Zoom finally bumped up its security. But these improvements are not without a few bumps of their own.

Zoom Finally Has Actual Encryption

Zoom added a new encryption standard, called AES 256-bit GCM encryption. It’s considered the gold standard of encryption and is even used by the U.S. government to secure data. True end-to-end encryption, however, is only available to paying customers. The reason for this is due to warnings from safety experts and law enforcement who have warned that sexual predators and other criminals are increasingly using encrypted communications to avoid detection. As a paid tier of service, charging a premium for encryption is meant to help combat this. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s definitely one that businesses and organizations can now look into.

You Can Now Report a Zoom User

In Zoom 5.0, hosts now have the ability to report a user to Zoom with a new security button. It sounds like a useful feature, but it will be interesting to see how effective it will be — particularly if a free user can create multiple accounts. One also has to wonder how Zoom itself handles these reports, and who deals with them.

Zoom Now Has a “Waiting Room”

V2Systems ZoomSecurity June2020 Blog2 Pic2 300x191 - Zoom Has Touched Up Its Security. Will You Benefit From It?The Zoom app now defaults users to a new “waiting room” feature. How this basically works is, anyone who seeks to enter a meeting must be approved first. Additionally, all meetings will now require a password to enter. While passwords and an approval system both sound like things that should have been standard fare, they should prove effective, provided your meeting password isn’t leaked.

Zoom Resolved a Major Security Bug

Unfortunately, Zoom-bombing was only one of the major issues the app had received criticism over. There have been a few incredibly serious bugs discovered in recent months, including one that would allow a hacker to take full control of the user’s computer. To address these concerns, Zoom has overhauled its bug bounty program, incentivizing security professionals to alert them to bugs before hackers can exploit them.

 

While these small updates to Zoom were badly needed, it remains to be seen whether they will have a lasting effect on IT security at home for remote workers. Is Zoom the right remote work solution for your organization, or is it time to look at alternatives? Call us today for a consultation, and we can help you make that determination.

 

Since 1995, Manassas Park, VA-based V2 Systems has employed local systems administrators, network engineers, security consultants, help desk technicians and partnering companies to meet a wide range of clients’ IT needs, from research, to implementation, to maintenance. Concentrate on your VISION…We’ll handle the TECHNOLOGY!

ebriceno
About ebriceno
Erik Briceño is the owner of V2 Systems, Inc., one of Northern Virginia’s leading Information Technology Managed Service Providers. He is an inspiring leader for its employees and instrumental business partner for its customers. He is passionate about V2’s purpose, dedicated to exceeding expectations and a consummate professional not afraid of jumping in and getting his hands dirty. Prior to joining V2 Systems in 2002, Erik was a co-founder and COO of Ampcast.com, a leading provider of online resources servicing over 5,000 independent musical artists. At Ampcast.com, Erik spearheaded all aspects of corporate development, funding, strategic vision, and business development for the firm. From 1997 to 1999 Erik held the position of Acoustic Systems Engineer for Electric Boat Corporation, a leading defense contractor. In this role, Erik was responsible for the acoustic fidelity of two noise critical systems and components in the US Navy’s nuclear submarine systems. Erik holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. When not working, you will find Erik a dedicated family man, raising two young children with his lovely wife Karen. Together, they enjoy building legos, playing baseball, skiing, riding horses, swimming, traveling, and fixing up old Mopars.
Zoom Has Touched Up Its Security. Will You Benefit From It?