Controversial Cloud Meetings App ZOOM is “Not Safe”, Says Indian Govt Advisory

Zoom, a cloud video conferencing app having user-base of over 200 million and a market cap of over $40 billion is in the middle of a controversy after several of its security and privacy lapses emerged in recent weeks.

Now it has come under the direct scrutiny of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) that says Zoom is not a secure video conferencing platform for private individuals due to its multiple privacy issues.

Following the ban on the use of Zoom by Germany and Taiwan in their nations, The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs had already made it clear that the Zoom app will not be used by government officials. The Firm has also become subject of a lawsuit by one of its shareholders for “overstating” security measures which let its share price to tank.

Controversial App ZOOM is

The latest advisory issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs under CyCord (Cyber coordination centre) indicates that these guidelines about certain settings in the Zoom app are to “prevent unauthorized entry in the conference room, prevent an authorized participant to carry out malicious acts on the terminals of others in the conference & avoid DOS attacks by restricting users through passwords and access grant.”

Steps that you should follow to make ZOOM meetings experience more safe & secure:

  1. The user ID and password for every new meeting should be regularized, which means you should enter new credentials for each meeting.
  2. Waiting room feature should be enabled – here, the host or administrator can verify if the person attempting to join the meeting is authorized to and allow them in.
  3. Also, you are recommended to disable “Join before host” option, which means users can only join the meeting after the host has logged in.
  4. As far as screen-sharing is concerned, it should be done by Host only.
  5. There is also the option to restrict the recording feature, which should be enabled.
  6. The Host/Administrator should disable the “Allow removed participants to re-join” option.
  7. The file transfer option should be limited or, better, disabled for certain video meetings that you think may not require file sharing.
  8. The Host/Administrator should lock a meeting after checking all the participants have joined in.
  9. The video meetings, when complete, should be ended rather than being just left by the host, as well as the participants.

In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Many organizations around the world including Indian companies have allowed their staff to work from home to stop the spread of coronavirus and “ZOOM cloud meetings” has been trending in India for remote business communication and webinars.

While there are many alternatives to ZOOM such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Skype, Google duo, FaceTime, Google Meet, etc, their adoption in these times has slowed, owing to the lack of features that Zoom, on the other hand, provides.

So, if you are still willing to take a risk and use Zoom for your business communication, Make sure you follow the security guidelines issued by the Indian Government.