The COVID-19 pandemic has led many schools to turn to Zoom to ensure that students continue to take classes. However, the State of New York has decided to ban the use of the videoconferencing platform, given the various complaints of issues regarding security and privacy issues during the registration process. The alternative given Microsoft Teams, as it is safer.
The news advanced by the Chalkbeat website, which guarantees to have had access to a document that was shared by the school principals, in a year in which the platform has already gained more users than in 2019 and has been very popular also in teleworking. "Based on the analysis of the documented concerns, we will no longer allow the use of Zoom", can be read in the memo.
After the various cybersecurity problems registered around the world with the platform, the suggestion of New York now that schools start using Microsoft Teams "as soon as possible", more secure, but with similar functions. Still, Richard Carranza, responsible for all schools in the state, did not set a deadline and acknowledged that the transition might not happen immediately. Cited by the website, the representative guarantees that the objective is that the change is "gradual and moderate".
The truth is that the transition can be relatively complicated for schools and families, since since mid March more than a million students have resorted to Zoom.
In Portugal, the service has also been used by schools and universities. In March, the COLIBRI distance learning platform, which integrates Zoom, had more than 63,000 users in one day. In total, these numbers mean 2,441,387 minutes spent on the platform that allows virtual classes for up to 300 participants and represent an increase in the number of participants.
The New York State decision comes after several accusations made on the platform. The FBI itself warned last week of cybersecurity dangers linked to communication services like Zoom, with several conference complaints being interrupted by pornographic messages or threats. In March, the platform had already been accused of sharing analytical data with Facebook, even if users did not have an account on the social network. However, the problem has now been resolved.
With the pandemic affecting almost everyone, daily cyber attacks related to COVID-19 have quadrupled. The pandemic is camouflaging cyber attacks, and Check Point Research says it is detecting 2,600 cyber attacks on average per day, even peaking at 5,000 on March 28. Even so, the overall monthly volume of cyber attacks decreased by 17%.