On March 16, 2020, UNCG added Zoom to its list of available videoconferencing options that also include Webex and Google Meet. This was done in response to multiple requests from academic and administrative areas of the University as UNCG prepared to rapidly move to remote instruction and remote work. This rapid onboarding process for Zoom only allowed UNCG Information Technology Services (ITS) to perform a cursory initial security review of the platform.
As with all new technologies used at UNCG, ITS continues to perform due diligence through its standard Security Posture & Risk Assessment (SPRA) process to fully assess the security and risks associated with the use of Zoom. Additionally, we will continue to issue further guidance to users and administrators based on the outcome of that due diligence effort.
In response to recently publicized vulnerabilities and exploits of the Zoom platform, ITS is issuing adjusted guidance on its feasible and safe use as a video conferencing tool. We also have created a Zoom Security: Best Practices for Learning, Teaching & Working that provides best practices for learning, teaching, and working safely with Zoom.
Going forward, ITS advises faculty and staff to use whichever University-supported communication medium they feel provides the best security, privacy, and protection of the data being discussed. Many options are available, and faculty and staff should make conscious, well-reasoned decisions about how to communicate with others, and how best to protect sensitive data when doing so.
Users should continue to follow the existing guidance posted regarding the use of video conferencing tools to share information online. As noted in existing guidance for use of Webex, all communication media are subject to potential breaches of data security. Users must take the same care on videoconferencing platforms as they would with any other form of communication. In the same way we would not discuss personal information about ourselves in the aisle of a grocery store, we should not communicate sensitive data about students, employees, or confidential University business in a forum where the wrong people can overhear.
As our situation evolves, ITS will continue to update video conferencing-related information in our knowledge base. ITS is happy to help users determine which platform is best for the type of business they need to conduct. For assistance or additional information, visit 6tech.uncg.edu.