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Google and Microsoft talk about security after the Zoom firewall

Google and Microsoft talk about security after the Zoom firewall

While Zoom continues to fight the ongoing privacy and security concerns about its platform, Microsoft and Google are trying to assure users that their platforms are secure.

As the Zoom video conferencing platform continues to withstand unfavorable headlines about its security, two major market rivals are doubling their commitment to keeping users safe.

In recent weeks, Zoom has faced a series of criticisms involving privacy and security flaws, culminating in CEO Eric Yuan acknowledging this week that the company has «moved too fast,» but is now committed to being open and sincere with [los clientes] in the areas where we are consolidating our platform. He also announced that Zoom has stopped developing new product features for 90 days to focus on security.

While rival video conferencing platforms did not face the same level of criticism, both Microsoft and Google intentionally described what those Hangouts Meet teams and offerings do to ensure that meetings remain secure.

In a recent blog post, Jared Spataro, Microsoft 365 corporate vice president, highlighted all the security features Microsoft already offers Teams users, including how they encrypt data and manage compliance requests, two areas where Zoom has was criticized. Spataro also mentioned that Microsoft does not use Teams data to run announcements or to track the attention of participants in the meeting, something else for which Zoom was subjected to fire.

«Now more than ever, people need to know that their virtual conversations are private and secure,» Spataro wrote in an April 6 post. «At Microsoft, privacy and security are never a second thought. It’s our commitment to you, not just in this difficult time, but always.»

Google has taken a similar approach, posting its own blog post on April 7, summarizing how Google Meet ensures meetings are secure. In the post, Karthik Lakshminarayanan, director of product management for security and controls at G Suite, and Smita Hashim, director of product management for Google Meet, Voice & Calendar, talked about Google’s efforts to combat abuse, block attempts hijacking and limiting the need for frequent security patches and the «secure design infrastructure» of the platform.

Although Zoom was not mentioned by name, the troubled platform has been under attack for problems in all these areas in recent weeks.

«I think Microsoft and Google’s moves are partly defensive to reassure their existing users (both business and personal), but partly offensive, trying to use the controversial Zoom to take their market share away,» said Paul McKay. , senior analyst. the Forrester.

«Zoom was surprised in this regard because they have made claims in the past about their safety, which later proved to be incorrect,» he added. «This has eroded a lot of trust in Zoom specifically, but I think their mistake here is not to practice good product safety as part of development and to formulate marketing statements that were not technically correct.

«They now have the next 90 days to show if they wanted to say what they said when their CEO responded to the issues last month,» McKay said.

Jarad Carleton, the leader of Frost & Sullivan’s global cybersecurity program, said many of Zoom’s problems stem from the culture of «fast-moving and breaking things» that he embraced from the beginning. This mentality was easier to overlook due to the light, intuitive and extremely reliable nature of the platform.

But companies like Zoom that have not established themselves with a strong culture of organizational security could later find themselves in a retroactive struggle to address issues that should be addressed in a timely manner.

Carleton believes the recent focus on Zoom’s shortcomings will benefit users in the long run, forcing other video conferencing platforms to review their own security measures to avoid similar criticism. He also said that the public announcement of security audits could help users show that collaborating providers are serious about security and privacy.

«Solutions like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom and others are primarily business tools,» Carleton said. «Any public criticism of security issues can affect subscription revenues, so the improved focus on security now, as more people use it, will only serve to improve confidence in the medium and long term.»

While Zoom’s security flaws could have provided a black-eyed platform that now attracts more than 200 million daily users, McKay believes other platforms have quickly reduced their security commitments because the «Zoom bombing» and the diversion of the session could be a danger. and they.

«I think the impact of this is that it has forced all market participants to pay attention, not just those affected,» McKay said. «If the industry does not respond positively, then I think it could erode user confidence, as companies have now become completely dependent on these solutions to allow for minimal productivity in the current pandemic.»