Earlier this week Federal cyber-agency CERT-In released an advisory for the increased cyber-attacks on virtual private networks being utilised by various companies to make working from home easier in view of the lockdown. Soon after this the Indian government also warned its officials about using video conferencing app Zoom which is gaining popularity amongst people during the nationwide lockdown, therefore, forcing people to take work from home.
Other companies such as Google have also cautioned their employees against the video conferencing app. The Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of the Ministry of Home Affairs asked its employees to refrain from using the Zoom app for official purposes also in the government offices. But it also allows use if strict security steps are followed by an individual such as hiding personal meeting IDs also enabling passwords. The Government advisory also contains how to set the app so that the virtual meetings are not accessible to any third party that is often known as Zoombombing.
The CERT-in released advisory stated, “Insecure usage of the platform (Zoom) may allow cybercriminals to access sensitive information such as meeting details and conversations.”
The biggest security concern for the video conferencing Zoom app is the increasing popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. It has crossed the mark of 200 million daily users. Now it is being downloaded by schools and colleges to conduct virtual classes for the students as their studies are also being affected.
Addressing the ongoing issues Zoom has now announced a 90-day feature freeze for the app. In order to improve the security and privacy of the platform, the company has released a bundle of new features addressing all the issues.
- Zoom account users and admins will now be able to set meeting passwords to include numbers, letters, and special characters, or allow only numeric passwords. Free Basic account users will now use alphanumeric passwords by default instead of numeric passwords.
- The company has also released a new security icon in the toolbar to provide Zoom Meetings hosts and co-hosts with one-click access to a number of existing Zoom security features, including Lock Meeting and Enable the Waiting Room.
- To improve security the company has made changes to the Zoom’s default meeting Both meeting passwords and Waiting Rooms are enabled by default for free Basic users and single Pro users, whereas those in K-12 education program now need passwords to join a meeting while the waiting rooms are on by default for them.
- According to the company from 18 onwards account admins will have the ability to choose whether or not their data is routed through specific data center regions, giving users more control of their interactions with Zoom’s global network. They can now adjust the pin length to access voicemail.
- The password protection has now been turned on for all the shared cloud recordings. Also now, the admins have the ability to define cloud recording password guidelines.
- A new feature has also been introduced to the app to allow the Zoom Chat users to hide the message preview for desktop chat notifications.
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