Zoom will roll out additional security features this week to prevent unwelcome “zoombombing” in video meetings.
Following a massive surge in use with more people working from home, the app came under the spotlight of cybersecurity experts over an apparent lack of appropriate security features.
This included the fact that the 256-bit TLS encryption used by Zoom could allow the company to view meetings, despite Zoom stating that video communication on its platform was end-to-end encrypted.
Additionally, online trolls have disrupted Zoom meetings by sharing lewd content on their screens with other users.
They gain access to these meetings in multiple ways – such as through Zoom.us URLs that could be found with a simple Google search.
The issues have resulted in several major companies – including Google, Tesla, Ericsson SA, NXP Semiconductors, and Daimler AG – either prohibiting or discouraging their employees from using the app for virtual meetings.
To address users’ concerns, company CEO Eric Yuan announced Zoom would embark on a 90-day plan to identify and enhance its security and privacy functionality.
More control and default features
Last week the company added more control over the use of personal meeting IDs (PMIs).
This allows Zoom account holders and administrators to disable the use of PMIs for scheduling or starting an instant meeting.
Starting 9 May, free users will be required to enter a password to access meetings. Free accounts will also have waiting rooms and host-only screen sharing turned on by default.
With waiting rooms enabled, hosts are required to approve participants before they can enter a video meeting.
This provides an extra barrier that prevents unknown parties from joining a call and sharing provocative or offensive content.
In addition, host-only screen sharing avoids the possibility of rogue users putting inappropriate material on meetings participants’ screens.
Competition from Google
Zoom’s dominance is being challenged by Google, which recently announced it would gradually start making its premium video chat platform Meet free for anyone with a Google account.
For these users, Meet supports an unlimited number of video calls lasting up to 60 minutes each, with over 100 participants per meeting.
Meet eliminates the possibility of disruptions by uninvited parties by requiring users to have a Google account.