Zoom hires Facebook’s former chief of security to improve privacy and security

(Reuters) – Zoom Video Communications Inc has acquired former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos as a consultant and set up an advisory board to improve the privacy and security of its fast-growing video conferencing app amid a global backlash.

After the locks associated with corona viruses forced people to work from home, millions of people flocked to the Zoom platform, which was attracted to ease of use. Thousands of schools also used the free offer to start online classes.

This, in turn, resulted in a review of the platform, and Zoom was reviewed by users who were concerned about the lack of end-to-end meeting session encryption, traffic routing through China, and “zoom bombing” for uninvited guests crashed, generally criticized.

In a series of tweets in late March, Stamos Zoom asked to be more transparent and to introduce a 30-day security plan.

After these tweets, Eric Yuan, Zoom’s chief executive officer, called Stamos and asked him to help the company build its security, privacy, and security skills as an outside consultant.

“Zoom has some key roles in core application security, cryptographic design, and infrastructure security, and I’m looking forward to working with Zoom’s development teams on these projects,” Stamos, now an associate professor at Stanford University, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Taiwan and Germany have restricted usage, while SpaceX from Elon Musk has banned the app for security reasons. It was also beaten with a class action lawsuit.

“It would be in Zoom’s best interest to undertake a thorough investigation of the vulnerabilities and report whether the vulnerabilities have actually resulted in a compromise,” said Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer and currently CEO of Fortalice -Solutions.

To address these concerns, Zoom formed a CISO Council, which includes senior information security officers from HSBC, NTT Data, Procore, and Ellie Mae, to discuss privacy, security, and technology issues.

It has also set up a board to advise CEO Yuan on privacy issues. The first members included executives from VMware, Netflix, Uber and Electronic Arts.

Zoom will also be hosting a weekly webinar starting at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday to provide privacy and security updates.

In Zoom, which competes with Microsoft’s Microsoft and Webex teams, daily users have risen from 10 million to 200 million, and the stock hit a record high in March.

However, recent concerns have saved 31% from the March stock high of $ 164.94 to the close on Tuesday. It rose 8% in early Wednesday trading on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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