As Zoom Platform Faces Serious Security Vulnerabilities and Privacy Concerns, Microsoft Teams Offers Secure Alternative
It’s hard to be unaware, but as a certain polarizing folk singer sang in 1964, ‘the times they are a changin’. An estimated 58% of knowledge workers currently work remotely due to the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. With an increase in remote-work comes increasing use of digital communications platforms even by companies that previously did not take part in the digital “hip startup culture.”
Only a few short months ago, the online video-calling platform “Zoom” had a modest 10 million daily users. When the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 began impacting businesses and individuals around the world, that figure shot up to 200 million daily users by March. Overnight, Zoom has become a household name.
But as quickly as the platform exploded in popularity with unprecedented attention, it quickly became a target of malicious attacks, security concerns, and privacy violations, and as of the date of publishing (April 10, 2020) 3 class action lawsuits have been filed, and a shareholder has even filed a lawsuit against the company for its’ serious shortcomings.
How Zoom Failed Its Users
There have been no shortage of reports on Zoombombing attacks, an act in which uninvited users “hijack” Zoom meetings. The attacks range from derailing a class lecture to forcing viewers to read or witness obscene content and hate speech. A religious school in the Philadelphia suburbs was the target of an organized Zoombomb attack this week. Students defending their dissertation have been Zoombombed with hate-speech and pornographic content by taking over the host’s screen. Zoombombers can even hijack users’ microphones and cameras through a security flaw Zoom built into the platform to create a seamless experience for users. People seeking support from Alcoholics Anonymous groups that have moved online have been heavily targeted during this trying time, as well.
Zoom’s iOS app was exposed to be sharing users’ data with Facebook, even if users did not have a Facebook account. Zoom routed calls through Chinese servers, and admitted it was not using end-to-end encryption or 256-bit AES encryption, as they had originally claimed and advertised.
To detail the growing list of lawsuits, bans, and attacks Zoom is facing would require an entirely separate post, and the news keeps coming. To sum it up– it’s a disaster. Students, workers, and teachers are growing more and more anxious to log onto mandatory Zoom meetings as they fear harassment, abuse, and compromised data.
The Zoom platform has such deep security vulnerabilities that the likes of Google, SpaceX, and even New York City’s Department of Education have banned using Zoom for communications.
In the aftermath, Zoom has paused all business priorities to focus solely on security for the next 90 days.
Microsoft Teams Offers A Secure Alternative
Most companies can’t wait 90 days to engage in safe workplace meetings with their remote teams, clients, and customers. Thankfully, Microsoft Teams offers an incredibly robust set of security features to protect your users and empower your business to function.
Microsoft Teams has exceptional security built into the entire design of the program, using features and standards such as OAUTH, Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP), 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, and more.
In addition to the highest levels of security, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to host your online Meetings for whatever size audience you may need to accommodate. Using Microsoft Meetings, up to 250 invited users can log on to your meeting using any email address the invite was sent to–even users outside your organization. Users do not need to share your domain name or even have a Microsoft Teams account to take part in video calls or audio conferences from their computer or a configured call-in line.
For virtual happenings larger than 250 users, Teams’ Live Events enables you to schedule and produce large-scale virtual events for up to 10,000 live attendees.
When you are running a Meeting in Microsoft Teams, you may want to reference documents or projects that your team is working on. Microsoft Teams is integrated seamlessly into the Office 365 ecosystem, so you can collaborate in real-time by pulling up a document and editing it live with your team. You can easily add these files to company and personal drives such as SharePoint or OneDrive, share screens to walk someone through something you can only understand by seeing, and record the audio, video, and screen content of a presentation for users to refer back to later.
There Has Never Been A Better Time To Try Microsoft Teams
Microsoft has been offering free extended trials of Microsoft Teams to support and protect businesses and organizations moving to dispersed teams during COVID-19, and Windows Management Experts can help make sure your team is set up for success as you deploy a remote collaboration strategy. As with any technology solution or tool, correct configuration is key to the success of that tool meeting your needs. Microsoft Teams is no exception, and every organization has unique needs to meet. We’re a Microsoft Certified Partner with gold competency in data center, device, and deployment, and we get the job done right the first time, guaranteed! Contact us today to take the first step in protecting your team, your clients, and your business from the growing anxiety surrounding Zoom, and unlock so much more in the process!