About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Zoom Security: No longer an Oxymoron

By Reynolds | Hadaway | Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - Leave a Comment

Lessons Learned from Zoom’s Rise…


The only constant is change.
An illustration of impermanence in information security.


Zoom’s popularity is in a large part thanks to its ease of use and low cost. How can you go wrong with an application that is popular, cost effective, and easy to use? Good question, easy answer: security.

But Zoom has taught us a few things about vendor management, risk acceptance, and (most importantly) a principle of cybersecurity (its impermanence).

When Zoom first started to rise in popularity, it was missing common security controls that many people overlooked, but not bank ISOs who now have great vendor management programs in place. Zoom’s privacy policy did not address how our information was being used, stored, or protected. They did not offer end-to-end encryption, phishers and bad actors were zeroing in on Zoom as a platform with several scary vulnerabilities, and Zoom had little public evidence their systems were audited for proper security controls. Due to this, many of us in the banking industry were caught between irritating management . . . who had no place to go in a pandemic but Zoom . . . or accept the risk of allowing connections to an unvetted, unengaged third party.

But that risk is lower now, showing how cybersecurity is impermanent, ever evolving, and . . . in the case of Zoom . . . a continuous improvement process.

After facing scrutiny on multiple fronts, Zoom addressed many of the issues by updating their policies and security posture. They now offer end-to-end encryption, address selling of data in their privacy policy, and have released a SOC-2 report detailing their security controls (which we have reviewed and compared against other third-party vendors here. The results are rather surprising. (To arrive at these results, we used the method described in this video: Note that the difference in overall risk between 95 and 112 is minuscule).

Many prudent institutions recognized these risks and looked before they leapt, and luckily for those that did not, there have not been any major publicized exploitations. Information security is always evolving though, and systems considered secure one day could seem insecure the next, similarly with insecure systems, they can evolve (good or bad!). We’ve seen this with many cloud-based applications over the years. For example, Dropbox’s original security was a mess, but fortunately for them they experienced an incident that woke their management. They responded, fixed their issues, and now provide SSAE-18 reports to those vetting them.

Zoom, in addressing their criticisms, stepped up as well and should be reconsidered by those who first recognized their risk and decided against its use. Of course, there are still risks, including issues that affect all such systems (i.e. Zoom-bombing can happen to any meeting without a password), and possible privacy concerns based on foreign ties; all of which will need to be identified and addressed when risk assessing the platform before implementation.

So, before you prohibit your CEO from attending her next C-Suite Zoom Meeting with Virtual Lemonade, consider that your risk acceptance questions are down to two:

  • Are we okay that China’s government can potentially hear our conversations?
  • Is a password being used on the room?

Even if you cannot answer these questions with “yes,” the risk may be acceptable. But here’s our question to you: who should accept this risk? The CEO? You? Or the board of directors, when you present next?


Original article by Adam Reynolds, Staff Auditor at infotex | Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex


same_strip_012513


 

Latest News
    The Four Basic Truths of System Security Webinar-Video The last thirty years have seen an evolution of frameworks, laws, and assessment approaches to information security which can intimidate the management team with their complexity. This webinar will discuss the four basic truths of system security regardless of frameworks or approach, and eight control systems to […]
    Community Banking and their layers of security. . . Michael Hartke’s first post as Executive Vice President! Thinking back to my first talk to security professionals in community banking almost 10 years ago, the question continues to this day. First some background… infotex was moderating the Indiana Bankers Association Security Conference when one of the […]
    Reasons why we should be considered! infotex provides a number of services that can be checked out if you click over to offerings.infotex.com! We even made a movie with all the reasons why infotex should be your next MSOC!  
    infotex and GoTo To all infotex managed security service Clients: As recently reported by major news outlets there was a data breach affecting GoTo (formerly LogMeIn) wherein attackers stole encrypted backups containing customer information in November 2022.  Based on the advisory from GoTo the products they offer that are affected include LogMeIn Pro, LogMeIn Central, […]
    An option for increasing security for ALL organizations. . . The threat landscape is evolving daily, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for even large organizations providing cyber defense services to keep up. As Brandao (2021) notes, it is important for organizations to adapt holistic technologies that can correlate all attack events. Therefore, developing XDR […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape) You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your […]
    A relic of the internet’s less secure past, many small firms struggle to secure their email systems… An article review. With a great deal of cybersecurity related news focused on new threats and similarly new techniques aimed at combating them, it can be easy to forget some of the older threats that have never gone […]
    Seven Trends . . . …that small bank Information Security Officers face in 2023 Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Welcome to the Magnificent Seven, my annual predictive article about the seven trends in technology that will impact the Information Security Officers of […]
    System Security and Cybersecurity are not the same thing. . . Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Regarding “information security,” the last thirty years have seen an evolution of frameworks, laws, and assessment approaches which intimidate the management team with their complexity.  […]
    The cryptographic algorithm is vulnerable to attack and is no longer considered secure… An article review. NIST has announced that it plans to retire the SHA-1 cryptographic algorithm by the end of 2030, citing multiple vulnerabilities in the standard, effectively ending its use after nearly 30 years.  Introduced in 1995, SHA-1 used a 160-bit hash […]