Google could ultimately help video conferencing company Zoom beef up its security measures. That's according to recent reports citing two unnamed sources said to be familiar with the matter. The sources claim that Zoom is in the "advanced" stages of talks with the search giant. Specifically, that's Google's Cloud division. The discussion centers around the use of a Google security service.
In particular, the talks appear to be focused on alerts, rather than any responsive security measures. That would also rule out any security services that would be actively guarding Zoom's services. Instead, the sources claim, Zoom is seeking to warn users about clicking links, among other things.
Among the speculated solutions, Google's services might also be used to flag links to websites. More directly, those would be websites sent to Zoom users by scammers and bad actors.
Why is Zoom looking for security help?
Zoom saw rampant growth in its user base as a result of ongoing global health concerns. Especially, since it quickly became a top tool not just for business but for schools and everyday visitors to the web as a way to stay in touch. That growth was quickly followed by reports that it was leaking user data. Around the same time, it was discovered that Zoom log-in credentials were being sold online.
Those credentials weren't necessarily stolen from Zoom itself. But the combination of multiple security concerns quickly prompted a number of reports indicating that Zoom wasn't quite as safe as might be hoped.
In response to those security issues and reports, Zoom committed itself to secure its platform. Among other changes, the company tacked on support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption. That's chiefly available to non-free members but it also reorganized its security features behind a revised menu with easier access. And it added in the ability for users to report inappropriate conduct.
Those changes could be augmented by further information about staying safe while using online tools. And the addition of a tool to warn users about suspect links would be even better. But this change is really just one in a long chain of alterations being made to improve things for users.
Google competes with Zoom, so it's not clear how likely this is
Now, Google is a direct competitor with Zoom via what remains of its Hangouts-brand as well as its Google-branded chat services. So it may, at the surface, appear unlikely that Google would partner with Zoom on a security solution. But the search giant doesn't quite offer the same level of benefits either.
Google's Duo video calling service, for instance, will support up to 32 participants "soon." But that falls well short of the 100 participants supported by Zoom. And that's just one area where Google's multitude of offerings falls short. So, the search giant could feasibly partner with Zoom as a means to bring in more revenue — although it remains to be seen what the deal will entail.
Conversely, Zoom has also reportedly declined to comment on the matter. So it bears mention that this may not ultimately be happening at all.