"All The Users Of Zoom Are Absolutely Safe, Their Meetings Were Always Encrypted"
DUE TO COVID-19 SITUATION DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS ON FULL SWING AND PEOPLE ARE NOW FORCED TO ADOPT TECHNOLOGY. IN THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME, THE COMMUNICATION PLATFORM, ZOOM HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TOOLS TO COMMUNICATE. BUT OFF LATE THERE WERE QUESTIONS RAISED REGARDING THE SECURITY OF THE PLATFORM. IN A CHAT WITH VARINDIA, SAMEER RAJE, INDIA HEAD, ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS TALKS ABOUT THE SUDDEN RISEIN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, EXPECTATIONS FROM ZOOM, STRATEGY TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES, CONCERNS OVER END-TO-END ENCRYPTION AND CYBER SECURITY
When we talk about digital transformation, what are your observations about the acceptance by the customers?
So, I think what has happened is the COVID-19 situation has put digital transformation into a complete fast forward mode.So what was supposed to happen probably a few years down the line has started now and people are forced to adapt to that today, right from work from home tomoving to the cloud based infrastructure to commuting the virtual world. We are seeing more adoption of these kind of technologies.It is not only the communication platform, but we will see a plethora of other services also going digital.
Remote work is changing the global workspace operation and this trend is going to continue for a longer period of time, what can we expect from ZOOM?
I think there are two things. One, the large organizations look at us as a business continuity model where they want to ensure that their business continues even in these kind of fluid situations where people are not going to return in 100% strength in offices. There will be a maximum of 25-35% manpower in offices and this is where the business continuity proportion comes into picture. Second aspect is from zoomyou can expect simplicity, the ease of use and that is where the small, medium, enterprises even the home tutors, coaching classes etc.who are struggling and want immersive one touch simple platform to use,that is where ZOOM fits in ideally. So ZOOM fits in at the lower end as wellthe higher end. So, it offers the best of both worlds because of its simplicity, ease of use and also the reporting and complexity aspects for the controllers or the ID administrators for a large organization. So we will be bringing in more and more functions and features all around this, which will help people to stay connected during these difficult times.
ZOOM hassurpassed all the top brands in the world. What is the success mantra behind this?
When the company was formed by our CEO, his idea was to develop a product which is easy, simple and it just works. That was the main theme behind it. With that theme when he started building the team and even when I am building a team in India,we ensure that in every interaction that we do, or we have with our customer it reflects that we care about them. For us, it is everything about the customer and our employees. We are number three rated on Glassdoor as the best places to work because every employee loves to work here. Our senior leadership and everybody cares for each other. That is the place to work for. So a product is simple to use andif you click it, you are going to get best of the experience, be it on 2G, 3G, 4G. Second is the goal and the culture of the company which is about keeping the employees happy who in turn keep the customers happy. That's the whole story behind it.
What are the strategic plans to address the new challenges in 2020?
It is very difficult right now to say that, these will be the challenges of 2020 because the world is turned upside down. So we have to take each day as it comes, but our primary goal is to make our product very safe and secure. So that is the reason why we are on that 90 day plan and I think that focus will continue with cybercrime going up by 600%, there is going to be hardly a day when we can take our eyes off fromprivacy and security of the platform, it will need more focus. But as time progresses we will also expand and try to bring in more features and functionality depending on what our customers are looking for.
There is an unprecedented spike in remote work today. Can you share few concerns about the End-to-end encryption?
Around end-to-end encryption there is a lot of misinformation out there, I would say most of it is not true. There was a mistake from our side in terms of how we documented it. But as I said till the time you joined a meeting right even before April 2020 if you are using ZOOM client on laptop, desktop or mobile phone, your meetingswere encrypted period.The financial institutions, the largest of the large enterprise would not have selected zoom to be used if the meetings were not encrypted.Whether free or paid,the meetings are encrypted. We are a platform. When I say platform it means we allow different formats of communication to come into ZOOM it could be HD video conferencing device or simple audio conferencing line, there the encryption format changes. If it is a PSTN line, it cannot be encrypted. So only when it enters the ZOOM cloud it gets encrypted into the encryption format.From the ZOOM cloud till the telephone it will be unencrypted.That is the difference. All the users of ZOOM are absolutely safe, their meetings were always encrypted. They are now being encrypted in 2256 bit GCM encryption, which is world class andno other player is offering this kind of encryption level.
Working remotely is also leading to crucial data being exposed to cybercriminals. How are you supporting your customers in this?
So there are two fronts to this, first and foremost the ZOOM platform itself is absolutely secure in terms of the way it is structured, the security protocols, the features and functionalities that we follow, including that our datacenter or application levels. Second is the end user part where they needs to be educated in terms ofthe phishing attacks and vulnerabilities. So we keep on educating our end users in terms of safeguarding themselves against similar things. So for example we request them to keep on changing their passwords frequently, to not use the common user IDs and passwords which they have used on some other platforms.Similarly, if you are a paid user then there are a whole lot of different security features and functions which can be enabled on it right from disabling the recording features to routing of the data. We keep on enhancing our security abilities for the platform itself and at our infrastructure as well.