Zoom is a popular video conference platform which popularity skyrocket recently. Because of the social isolation, their easy-to-use interface, helped them to become the go to application in the video conference market, surprising traditional players in the market such as GoToMeeting, Microsoft Skype and Microsoft Teams and Google.
However, they had a little secret. Their infrastructure wasn’t prepared to handle such a big load in specific regions of the world. This trigger them to seek resources in data centers which were not so overloaded. One of those is in China, where there are laws which could provide to their government all the data which is stored or passed in their country. You might think this is still not a big deal since the communication is encrypted end to end and no one beside the people in the meeting have access to it.
It turns out this is also not true and only the communication between the Zoom client and the Zoom server is encrypted. What happens after that is in plain sight.
This triggered more discussions and restrictions of the usage of Zoom. Official emails were sent inside corporations and governments to warn about this threat.
Luckily for Zoom, they reacted fast and at least reduce some security concerns. Now the administrator of the meeting can blacklist countries where the video conference signal must not be routed to.
Zoom announced in the end of May 2020 a big release version 5.0 which will fix the rest of the security concerns.
In the middle of this privacy and concern storm, Zoom stands still like a big oak tree in the middle of a field.
The moral of the story is sometimes being fast helps, sometimes being fast wins.
The only thing you must consider is to acknowledge when you had made a mistake. And with fast reaction, fix the problem when the damage in your reputation is low.
What we can learn from this story is how to handle a crisis in a good way:
- Be transparent.
- Use facts when they support the message, in Zoom case the good news was that only small amount of traffic was affected.
- Work hard and provide fix as soon as possible.
It seems like in this case asking for forgiveness pays off.
Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager