Video conferencing platform Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:ZM) has been enhancing its security following a wave of criticism regarding its security protocols. The company has announced the acquisition of New York startup Keybase as it looks to enhance encryption protocols that it had led users and investors to believe that it supported.
Keybase to help Zoom with end-to-end encryption of calls
Keybase, which specializes in encrypting cloud services and messaging, will enable the company to offer its users end-to-end encryption. With the stay at home orders, the number of people who are working remotely has largely grown, and Zoom has seen a surge in Zoom conference calls, and therefore this deal comes at an ideal period.
Zoom has been working on a 90-day-plan that it announced at the beginning of April to fix security flaws on its platform, and the acquisition of Keybase is the first step. Erick Yuan, the CEO of Zoom, told CNBC that they are aiming to offer users solutions with a high level of security and privacy to ensure that uninvited participants do not access user conversations. Yuan added that they were excited to add the Keybase team into the company, and they will help in building encryption protocols to reach the platform’s current scalability.
Zoom received criticism regarding “zoombombing”
Once Zoom implements Keybase, the user scheduling a conference meeting can pick end-to-end encryption. This will prevent uninvited people from calling in through phone, which is the common way people are accessing meetings. Equally, the cloud-based chat recording will be disabled. However, the CEO indicated that it is important for users to be aware that the encryption protocol is not on the company’s servers, and thus Zoom doesn’t have access to call contents.
The company is enhancing security and privacy following criticism that it allowed “zoombombing” where uninvited guests and for allegedly lying to investors regarding its level of encryption. There were also revelations that then the app was sharing personal information with Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). Zoom has indicated that it wasn’t prepared for the sudden surge in users, which has grown thirtyfold since the end of last year as more people work remotely.