Okta Sees a COVID-19 “Zoom Boom”

If you have an office job, you likely now WFH (work from home). The odds are that you have found yourself on at least a handful of video teleconference calls in the past four weeks. There is no question that video conference services have been the backbone of the information workforce during this month of “stay-at-home”. Teachers, students, courtrooms, and television shows are going live from homes all over America.

In the process of doing research, I happened to find this April 8th post by Hector Aguilar, Okta’s President of Technology, How COVID-19 Is Changing the Way We Work: Zoom Boom + MFA is the Way. Okta is a leader in identity management and Multi-Factor Authentication. Therefore, Okta has a unique and vast window into the usage of cloud services.

We all know anecdotally that Zoom usage has been rocketing. This is the first data that I have seen comparing Zoom to other video conference services.

Percentage Increase in Unique Daily Users of Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Ring Central from 2/24/2020 to 3/27/2020
Source: Okta

From February 28 to March 27, Cisco’s WebEx and Ring Central’s unique daily users were up about 50%, but Zoom’s were up 200%.

Zoom’s adoption has been nothing short of incredible. From yoga teachers to grandparents, people are thrilled with its ease of use. I have used quite few of the video conferencing services. Out company tried Zoom over two years ago and never looked back. Both the ease of use and the pricing were  a world apart from the other services.

Zoom has had a challenge-laden couple of weeks as the onslaught of users and attention by security analysts have exposed vulnerabilities. Some, such as “Zoom-bombing,” where intruders disrupt a session, can be managed with existing policies. Others are more serious. Zoom is reporting fixes weekly. They report that they have removed the use of the Facebook SDK in their iOS app, which was sending user data to Facebook.

School districts have banned usage of Zoom. There are three class-action law suits against Zoom.

Zoom announced yesterday that they have formed a CISO Council and an Advisory Board to look at ways to address Zoom’s security and privacy issues, with CISOs from VMware, HSBC, NTT Data, Netflix, and more participating. In what would appear to be a major coup for Zoom, Alex Stamos, former CSO at Facebook, now at Stanford, tweeted on April 8th that he will join Zoom as an outside advisor.

I’m optimistic that they will resolve most of these issues. Zoom has a lot to gain by doing so.

-Maureen

April 9, 2020

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