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Zoom(ing) the personal security during Covid-19 lockdown

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines on secure usage of Zoom

Zoom-Security-Issues
Zoom Security Issues

Work from home is now the new normal post the Covid-19 outbreak around the world. Companies which never used to rely on work from home policy have now been forced to make quick arrangement to continue function. There are many businesses that are manpower intensive and rely on one to one selling are now exploring an opportunity to reach their audience digitally. Digital outreach has always been the easiest way, but post Covid-19 situation digital will be the key focus across industries’.

Industries like FMCG, Pharma, FMCD and other today employee huge sales workforce around the world, have now started exploring the digital channels to reach out to their audience. To make sales pitch, conduct meetings, discussion & conferences companies have started adopting some platforms like Zoom, Teams (Microsoft), Hangout(Google), GoToMeeting, etc. But with this digital push, the key challenges which also follow are the adoption of platforms and information security.


Read More: Covid-19 India: Is the disease spreading too fast?


However, the company which was of the advantage of Covid-19 pandemic is Zoom, which reported a significant rise in their user base. The company added 2.22 million active users in February’20 itself compared to 1.99 million users in 2019, as estimated by Bernstein’s. In India, the application saw the surge in numbers, which increased from around 1,70,000 in the middle of February to nearly 2.5 million in late March making it the No. 1 app in India on Google Play.

While the company is positive about growth outcomes bases on surge in the user base across the world, they recently got hit by security concerns being raised by some of the top companies including SpaceX & Google. Zoom has been facing the backlash after the bunch of privacy and security issues cropped up recently.

Zoom‘s desktop client doesn’t meet the company’s security standards; employees can use Zoom through a web browser or mobile to stay in touch with family and friends.

Google’s Spokesperson

The Government of India has declared the usage of Zoom ‘Unsafe’ and has asked all the ministers and staff members to refrain from using the platform for the official conferencing purpose. Post this The Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued advisory note after some of the media houses also raised concerns like

  • Data of 500K Zoom accounts were being sold for less than INR 1 per account
  • Password and personal information breach

Read More: Guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs for extended Lockdown


The advisory stated by the Government specifically meant for private individuals and officials for officials purpose, highlighting ways to prevent unauthorized entry in the conference room.

*As per MHA below are the points highlighted for secure access of Zoom:

  • Setting up a new user ID and password for every meeting. Zoom’s support page offers a video walk-through on how to generate a random meeting ID for extra security
  • Disable join before the host
  • Enabling meeting room and disabling entry of anyone externally once meeting gets started
  • Allow screen sharing only for the host
  • Disable file transfer option among attendees
  • Restrict recording feature for any anyone part from host

*Refer – Complete advisory document

The spokesperson of the zoom responded to the advisory issued by MHA saying that Zoom is extremely serious about users’ security.

A large number of global institutions ranging from the world’s largest financial services companies and telecommunications providers, to non-governmental organisations and government agencies, have done exhaustive security reviews of our user, network and data center layers and continue to use Zoom for most or all of their unified communications needs

Zoom Spokesperson | Source: Hindustantimes

However we know that Zoom quick adoption was also due to its ease of use and quick set-up, but security is always a top priority for everyone. We are listing down a few alternatives for you to explore and continue your work and meetings

  • Teams by Microsoft
  • Hangout by Google
  • Facetime by Apple
  • GoToMeeting
  • Cisco WebEx

There are many options more apart from the list mentioned above. doe let us also know about them through your comments below.


Update on Covid-19 India Outbreak – 18th April’2020

India reported 1,371 new Covid-19 cases taking toll of the total confirmed cases to 15,723 as on 18th April’2020. The positive news for India is jump in the recovered case by 426 with 2466 recovered cases. The Covid-19 disease has taken 521 deaths in India. The top three states with the most number of cases are Maharashtra(3648), Delhi(1893) & Madhya Pradesh(1402)


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