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