Zoom vs. MaX UC (formerly Accession): Important Points on Security & Data Privacy

Zoom vs. Accession: Important Points on Security & Data Privacy

Written by: Matt Dwyer, Director of Network Services

In response to COVID-19, many of our customers are utilizing our free video conferencing and phone software, MaX UC, to stay connected. Conducting business virtually has raised new concerns about security and data privacy, particularly in response to recent news about Zoom’s mass-market offering.

Our MaX UC Meeting product leverages some technology from Zoom. Since learning of the Zoom concerns, we have been working closely with our technology partner and MaX UC manufacturer, Metaswitch, to understand exactly how Zoom technology integrates with MaX UC and ensure we’re meeting carrier-grade security and data privacy requirements.

As a result of this, we have concluded that many of the Zoom issues reported to date do not affect our MaX UC customers. In particular:

1. MaX UC is separate from Zoom’s mass-market service.

MaX UC Meeting is delivered from a dedicated, private instance of Zoom’s software—separate from their mass-market service. This is hosted solely in the United States, with separate user database, control software, and media resources

2. Our strong integration minimizes Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

MaX UC Meeting’s strong integration with our unified communication solution minimizes the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that is provisioned into the private meeting instance. Further, Zoom has confirmed that they do not share or sell any user data from MaX UC Meeting dedicated instances.

3. Meeting recordings are not permitted in the cloud.

MaX UC Meeting does not permit meeting recordings to be saved in the cloud, avoiding many related PII issues.

4. MaX UC limits users to in-meeting-only video functionality.

MaX UC Meeting utilizes in-meeting-only video functionality. It does not use the Zoom “chat” or “contacts” components – which are among those affected.

5. Northland controls the end-user client.

We control the end-user client, meaning that no third-party services are involved in user authentication. This removes ancillary components from the installation process.

What does this mean for MaX UC users? These foundations have made a significant difference in regards to security. For example, we are not aware of any “Zoombombing” attempts against MaX UC Meeting users and MaX UC Meeting was not affected by any reported Facebook or LinkedIn issues to date.

The security of a product is only as good as the ongoing effort applied to continually improve it, as well as the speed of response to address emerging issues. Our partner, Metaswitch, regularly tests and integrates software releases from Zoom as they work to improve the product. In addition, they are completing their own security testing on MaX UC Meeting clients. We work with Metaswitch on a daily basis to understand the implications of any issues identified in the Zoom mass-market product. We will communicate and resolve any issues that affect our private MaX UC Meeting instance.

The whole Northland team takes the security of our products and the privacy of your data extremely seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information about MaX UC (it’s free), visit www.northland.net/teleworking or click here to register for our upcoming webinar.

 

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