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Zoom confirms it missed this major security milestone

(Image credit: Shutterstock / soul_studio)

During the early stages of the pandemic, video conferencing software saw record downloads though no company experienced the massive growth and influx of new users that Zoom did.

The sudden and increased demand on the company's systems was unlike anything most companies have ever experienced which is why Zoom turned to Oracle Cloud in addition to AWS to help meet this surge in demand. However, privacy and security concerns were a constant issue, forcing company's CEO Eric S. Yuan to promise more transparency and announce a 90-day freeze on all new features not related to privacy, safety or security back in April.

Marking the end of this 90-day program  Yuan released a new blog post reflecting on the changes and improvements the company made during that time, including conducting a comprehensive review of its systems with third-party experts, preparing a transparency report, enhancing its bug bounty program, launching a CISO council, conducting white box penetration tests and hosting a weekly webinar to provide privacy and security updates to its community.

However Zoom has missed its own deadline for providing information on exactly how many requests for user data it has received - instead saying it will reveal this "later this year".

Security and privacy review

During its 90-day program, Zoom worked with a group of third-party experts to review and make enhancements to its products, practices and policies. The company also launched a CISO council composed of 36 CISOs from SentinelOne, Arizona State University, HSBC, Sanofi and other organizations. The CISO council has met four times over the past three months and advised Zoom on a number of important matters including regional data center selection, encryption, meeting authentication and features such as Report a User, Passwords and Waiting Rooms.

Zoom also worked to enhance its current bug bounty program by developing a Central Bug Repository that aggregates vulnerability reports from HackerOne, Bugcrowd and security@zoom.us. The company also hired a Head of Vulnerability and Bug Bounty, several additional appsec engineers and it is in the process of hiring more security engineers.

Zoom asked multiple firms including Trail of Bits, NCC Group and Bishop Fox to review its entire platform. These organizations looked at Zoom's production environment, its core web application and corporate network and its public API for its mobile and desktop clients.

While the 90-day feature freeze may be over for Zoom, Yuan says privacy and security are ongoing priorities for the company, and the steps it has taken could serve as a guideline for any organization looking to improve the privacy and security of its platform.