Nairobi News


Zoom releases new update to address security concerns

With Zoom usage soaring amid the Covid-19 lockdowns, the multi-participant video streaming tool has released a new, large scale update that aims to address its various security and privacy concerns, which have come into much sharper focus in recent weeks.

The company on Wednesday confirmed Zoom 5.0 would be available this week after questions were raised about the platform’s safety settings.

Zoom revealed the new version of the app includes an upgraded encryption standard, a new, clearer security icon to access the safety settings, a tool to report users and new password controls.

“Today we announced robust security enhancements with the upcoming general availability of Zoom 5.0, a key milestone in our 90-day plan to proactively identify, address, and enhance the security and privacy capabilities of the Zoom platform. By adding support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption, Zoom will provide increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering,” Zoom said in a statement.

The added protection will reduce the capacity for anyone outside of your meeting to steal your Zoom data, or access your content, while Zoom is also adding a new provision that will enable users to choose which data center regions their account-hosted meetings and webinars use, providing more control on this front.

Zoom reported a maximum of 10 million daily users back in December, but this skyrocketed to more than 200 million daily meeting participants in March amidst the global pandemic.

Some companies have told their staff to stay off the video conferencing service due to security concerns.


But as its usage boomed, cybersecurity experts warned of serious issues with the security protocols in both Zoom and Google Hangouts compared to the other enterprise-grade applications like Microsoft Teams, Webex and Bluejeans.

Zoom has been particularly vulnerable to attacks from hackers who have managed to barge into others’ video chats and slip in lewd, vulgar messages and racial slurs.

The app was also criticised after it emerged some meeting data could have been routed through servers in China, so the ability for users to control which data centres their meetings data is routed through has now also been added.

The video app was also criticised earlier this month after it emerged the platform was not using end-to-end encryption for all meetings, despite suggesting it was on its website.