Zoom gained popularity in the early days of COVID-19 pandemic as the office employees were asked to work from home. It has now added end-to-end encryption to it’s online videoconferencing service. This newly added security feature was announced on 26th October and it is now available for free as well as paid accounts all over the world.
Encryption will work for the Zoom desktop client v 5.4.0 for Mac and PC, Zoom Android app and Zoom Rooms. The Zoom iOS app is pending App Store approval. The administrators can enable the security feature in web dashboard at the account, group and user level. Participants will have to enable the feature to join a meeting set for end-to-end encryption.
According to the company’s release when the users will enable E2EE for their meetings and nobody except each participant who have access to the encryption keys used to encrypt the meeting and not even Zoom’s meeting servers can access them. If the feature is enabled the host can toggle on and off E2EE for any given meeting depending on the security level of functionality that they would like. Well the feature comes with many limitations like if you will turn on E2EE then it will prevent you from using the cloud recording, live transcription, streaming, polling, 1:1 private chat, meeting reactions and breakout rooms. They are planning to integrate these elements gradually during the next year.
Zoom became very famous when the pandemic hit the whole world and people were forced to work from home. Zoom was unprepared for sudden influx of the users. Some security and privacy issues arose and people shifted to other videoconferencing platform. This problem was so damaging for the videoconferencing software that their CEO Eric Yuan made a public apology and admitted that his team had made mistakes. On the security issue, Yuan was of the view that the newcomers did not have much IT support compared to the old user base of business and enterprise customers that is why they were failed to come up with a software in most effective way. This caused some of the users suffering zoombombing incidents in which that hackers invaded online meeting with the offensive imagery. Since then the company has made gradual enhancements to security and privacy elements in it’s videoconferencing software for retaining its customer base.