Zoom forms security council to tackle privacy criticisms

There will also be an advisory board for CEO Eric Yuan.

Zoom: board comprises experts from companies including HSBC and NTT Data
Zoom: board comprises experts from companies including HSBC and NTT Data

Video-conferencing service Zoom has formed a new council and security board as it tries to bolster its safety credentials in the wake of recent breaches and warnings.

Eric Yuan, Zoom’s chief executive, announced today that the new CISO council will help ensure Zoom is implementing security and privacy best practices, after cybersecurity experts warned the platform was failing to protect user’s data security and privacy.

HSBC, NTT Data, Procore and Ellie Mae are among the companies whose security advisors will be part of the council, Yuan said.

He added: "The purpose of the CISO council will be to engage with us in an ongoing dialogue about privacy, security and technology issues and best practices – to share ideas and collaborate."

An advisory council, which will be part of the wider CISO council, will also act as personal advisors to Yuan for him to "be a more effective and thoughtful leader". Initial members of the advisory board include security leaders from Netflix, Uber and Electronic Arts.

Alex Stamos, a well-known cybersecurity expert and industry critic, has also joined Zoom as an outside advisor to assist with the company’s "comprehensive security review" of its platform, Yuan announced today.

Stamos was previously chief security officer at Facebook and left in 2016 after an apparent disagreement with fellow executives over how to address the Russian government using the platform to spread disinformation during the 2016 US presidential election.

In a Medium post, Stamos said: "The adaptation of a successful enterprise collaboration tool into virtual classrooms, virtual doctor’s offices and a myriad of other applications (including at least one virtual Cabinet Room) has created privacy, trust and safety challenges that no company has ever faced… Zoom has some important work to do in core application security, cryptographic design and infrastructure security, and I’m looking forward to working with Zoom’s engineering teams on those projects."

Demand for Zoom has risen dramatically in recent weeks during the coronavirus pandemic as non-essential business resort to working from home and use teleconferencing to communicate. In mid-March, Zoom’s share price had risen so high that its market capitalisation had become bigger than the combined value of the US’s four biggest airlines.

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