In the current COVID-19 climate, Zoom has become a household name, but is it safe?
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud-based platform designed for video conferencing, online meetings, instant chat, and has more recently found its calling in hosting online pub quizzes. With the capacity to allow up to 100 participants in a meeting and even an optional extension to include up to 500 people, there’s no denying its functionality is a great asset.
Why should I question if Zoom is safe?
The sad truth about the world of IT is that with every advance in the way we use technology, the cyber crime vultures are never far behind. For them, new technology means a whole host of vulnerabilities to exploit.
Unfortunately, Zoom has not escaped this truth: Issues with its security have become so well known in fact that the term ‘Zoom-bombing’ is already being used to refer to calls being hijacked by intruders.
Why is Zoom a target for cyber crime?
Zoom launched in 2011 – shocked? That’s because the cloud-based video communication platform has gone relatively unnoticed until now. In fact, Zoom has added more users to their platform in the last 4 months, than they added throughout the whole of 2019.
Now, with great growth, comes great responsibility: the increase in traffic has unavoidably caught the attention of cyber criminals who have done their job in exposing the vulnerabilities of the platform. Research estimates that more than 1,700 new Zoom domains have been registered since the beginning of 2020, with 4% of those (that’s around 70 cases) containing suspicious characteristics causing reason to believe they were to be used with malicious intent.
What are the dangers?
Hackers recognise that Zoom is used by not only the SME community across the country, but by larger organisations too – in fact, 60% of the Fortune 500 are currently using the platform. This means rich pickings and for that, cyber criminals will work.
Experts have already discovered numerous malicious files containing the word ‘zoom’. Executing these files would load malware to your PC designed to expose your network and your company and clients’ data.
How can we stay safe?
Zoom developers have in recent times patched a number of vulnerabilities and have made a vow to hold off all feature development projects until their security problems are resolved – this includes end-to-end encryption.
But, as with all cyber security concerns, the best thing you can do for your business is to take responsibility into your own hands. Here are some suggestions:
#1 Consider a change in platform:
Whilst no platform can guarantee 100% security, well-establish platforms like Microsoft Teams expose less vulnerabilities and are less likely to be targeted.
Learn more about Microsoft Teams in our blog – Which Tool To Use
#2 Stay alert:
Be suspicious to the point of paranoid! Be extra vigilant and look out for unrecognised emails, unexpected messages, URL spelling errors, poor English and grammar: These are all red flags.
#3 Educate your team:
With 90% of cyber attacks growing from phishing campaigns, staff training is imperative. Whether it’s a refresh or a first-time training session, make your staff cyber security aware.
Our 25 cyber security tips for businesses are a great starting point.
#4 Use adequate anti-virus software:
With most of us working from temporary home-based offices, this advice has never been more relevant. Anti-virus software on a day-to-day home PC is often substandard for business use and would create a weak link in your network security. If you or any of your team are using personal PCs or laptops whilst working from home, be sure your anti-virus software is up to the job of protecting your business.
You can find more home working tips like this here.
Jupiter IT Is More Than IT Support – It’s IT Consultancy
At Jupiter IT, we’re committed to raising awareness of cyber crime and tightening cyber security.
Our number one priority is the continuity of your business systems and we are on hand whenever you need us. Whether you need advice or support, get in touch today.