Wednesday 15 April 2020 11:51 am

Standard Chartered bans staff from using Zoom and Google Hangouts

Standard Chartered has become the first major bank to ban staff from using Zoom during the coronavirus crisis due to cybersecurity concerns.

In a note to managers, seen by Reuters, chief executive Bill Winters last week also warned against holding virtual meetings on Google Hangouts.

Read more: Zoom vows to fix security issues as daily user numbers surge to 200m

It comes amid growing scrutiny of Zoom’s security standards as it faces surging demand for both business and personal use during the pandemic.

In March the app racked up more than 200m daily users — up from roughly 10m in December last year.

But the video chat service has been plagued by a string of so-called Zoombombing issues, in which hackers have broken into strangers’ video chats to disrupt the call — often with racial slurs or lewd imagery.

Chief executive Eric Yuan earlier this month said Zoom had not been designed to cope with the current influx of demand, and vowed to address security flaws.

Security concerns are of particular importance to banks, who can be penalised by regulators for exposing customer information.

Standard Chartered staff are mostly using rival video chat service Blue Jeans, two employees told Reuters.

The bank is the latest organisation to ban Zoom following similar moves by Elon Musk’s Space X and New York City’s public school system.

In a statement, Zoom said many global customers including financial firms, telecoms companies, universities, and government agencies had performed “exhaustive security reviews” of its technology and chosen it as a service.

Read more: Coronavirus: Banks approve 1.2m mortgage holidays amid financial strain

Staff at JP Morgan, Barclays and Morgan Stanley are all understood to use Zoom for meetings.

Some Goldman Sachs employees have used the app to hold virtual pub outings after work, a source told Reuters.

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