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Zoom Makes First Acquisition to Boost Security

By Donna Fuscaldo – May 7, 2020 at 2:54PM

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Zoom said the Keybase acquisition will enhance encryption and speed up its 90-day security plan.

Zoom Video Communications (ZM 1.07%), the video conferencing app made popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, has made its first acquisition since its IPO as it aims to beef up security. 

Tuesday morning, Zoom announced that had purchased Keybase, a secure messaging and file-sharing service, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to help Zoom accelerate its plan to incorporate end-to-end encryption on the Zoom video platform. 

A woman in her office having a video conference.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

"There are end-to-end encrypted communications platforms. There are communications platforms with easily deployable security. There are enterprise-scale communications platforms. We believe that no current platform offers all of these," said Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. "The first step is getting the right team together. Keybase brings deep encryption and security expertise to Zoom." 

Last month, amid criticism of lax security on its platform,  Zoom announced a 90-day plan to improve security and win the trust of its customers. School districts, companies, and even government agencies have banned using Zoom to conduct official business.

Zoom has made some progress to address security concerns in response, rolling out a software update in late April  that strengthens encryption on the service and gives more control to account administrators . Zoom has also brought on Facebook's former security chief -- and now an adjunct professor at Stanford -- Alex Stamos as an advisor. 

The Keybase team will be tasked with identifying, addressing, and enhancing security and privacy on the platform. Keybase co-founder and developer Max Krohn will lead the security team at Zoom, reporting directly to Yuan. "Our team is passionate about security and privacy, and it is an honor to be able to bring our encryption expertise to a platform used by hundreds of millions of participants a day," said Krohn in prepared remarks. 

Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zoom Video Communications and recommends the following options: short May 2020 $120 calls on Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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