Shannon Roddel | April 15, 2020
The video platform Zoom has experienced overnight success with offices and schools closed around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. The increased usage has resulted in a string of security concerns, which, according to a University of Notre Dame cybersecurity and privacy expert, have largely been blown out of proportion.
Zoom is not dealing with a security and privacy crisis, it’s facing a communication and transparency crisis, according to Mike Chapple, associate teaching professor of IT, analytics and operations at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
“Zoom’s recent privacy and security issues aren’t any more significant than those facing any other tech company, and Zoom has quickly moved to correct each one of them,” said Chapple, a former computer scientist with the National Security Agency. “The challenge Zoom faces is that they were a specialized niche company that was suddenly thrust into the role of a critical infrastructure provider overnight and they simply weren’t ready for the intense level of scrutiny that they’ve received as a result.”
Perhaps the most publicized of Zoom’s woes is the practice of ‘Zoombombing’ where people join unsecured Zoom calls and disrupt private conversations.
“These aren’t the result of a security flaw in Zoom,” Chapple explained. “Zoombombing occurs when people either don’t use a password to secure their Zoom meeting or give out the password on a public forum. You can protect yourself against this by following some simple best practices, such as not publishing your meeting password, using a waiting room to control access to your meeting and restricting screen sharing.”
Zoom also has been criticized for not offering end-to-end encryption for videoconferences, an approach Chapple says most people never use.
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