Zoom has struggled to meet security needs, as its base has risen sharply amid the coronavirus lockdown.
The video-conferencing platform released a new update in April 2020, in an effort to address security concerns.
Zoom says the newest version of its app, Zoom 5.0, includes encryption and new privacy controls, updates that are part of a 90-day plan to improve security and privacy on the platform.
Since the coronavirus lockdown, Zoom’s daily active users have shot up from around 10 million to 300 million, as people use the platform for happy hours, work meetings, support groups and even funerals.
Users have struggled with a phenomenon referred to as “Zoom-bombing”, a new kind of attack in which bad actors enter video meetings and shout slurs and threats in an attempt to disrupt them. Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were targeted in particular.
Zoom 5.0 will allow hosts to "report a user" to Zoom, with a new security button and the app now defaults users to a “waiting room” feature, which requires participants to be approved to enter a meeting. All meetings will now require a password to enter.
Zoom also added a new encryption standard, called AES 256-bit GCM encryption, which is considered the “gold standard” of encryption and is used by the US government to secure data. The change will help prevent meetings from being hijacked by hackers and adds a much better layer of privacy that was not present before.
In addition to Zoom bombing concerns, the app had also received criticism over major bugs in recent months, including one that would allow a hacker to take full control over the user’s computer. To address these concerns, Zoom has beefed up its "bug bounty" program, incentivizing security professionals to alert them to bugs before hackers can exploit them.
Zoom is not the only video conferencing platform, but it is easily one of the most popular. That is largely because of how easy it is to use. Zoom has received a lot of attention because users were not turning on many of its security settings. However, the latest updates have largely addressed this problem.