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Security Concerns Forces German Foreign Ministry To Restrict Use Of Zoom

Security Concerns Forces German Foreign Ministry To Restrict Use Of Zoom
Zoom – the firm that provides video conferencing services and one that has assumed popularity in the coronavirus pandemic induced lockdowns, is in trouble in multiple countries.
The use of the video conferencing service has been restricted by the German foreign ministry from use within the organization. According to a report published in the newspaper Handelsblatt, the ministry has said in an internal memo to employees that the services is too risky to use because of weaknesses in the security and data protection offered by the service.
The ministry has further said in its memo that currently it is almost impossible to put a complete ban on the use of the services because the Zoom video conferencing system was in widespread use among the international partners of the ministry and said that the services could be used in crisis situations but only private machines for professional purposes.
"Based on media reports and our own findings we have concluded that Zoom's software has critical weaknesses and serious security and data protection problems," read the memo cited by Handelsblatt.
In a separate development, the company is facing a class action suit filed by one of its shareholders. The suit that was filed on Tuesday, accused the company of overstating its privacy standards and it did not disclose that its services were not end-to-end encrypted.
The stocks of the company have tumbled in recent days after rallying for several days because of a number of media reports about the weakness in the privacy of Zoom's application, one of the shareholders of the company Michael Drieu claimed in a court filing.
The stock price of the company has plunged by almost a third of the market value since it touched record highs in late-March – partly because of the string of negative reports about the privacy issues of the app as they appeared in the media.
Last week an apology to zoom users was tended by the Chief Executive Officer of the company Eric Yuan saying that the company could not match up to the privacy and security expectations of the community and was taking measures to heighten the security of the users of the video conferencing service.
The app has added millions of users globally since many governments across the issued lockdown orders and stay at home and work from home advisories to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing millions of employees to use the service to stay connected with colleagues and hold virtual meetings.
According to recent reports, United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had issued a memo and circulated it to top government cybersecurity officials saying that the company has also been responsive to concerns over its software.
"I see it as a pragmatic memo," said Payton, who is chief executive of cybersecurity firm Fortalice Solutions. The General Services Administration, which helps run FedRAMP, "had to say something" given the mounting disquiet over Zoom's issues, she said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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