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Salesforce exec Jason Lee joins Zoom as CISO, promising to “instil security into DNA” of firm

Zoom has appointed Salesforce’s Jason Lee as its new chief information security officer, in an attempt to restore trust in the platform following the disclosure of a series of vulnerabilities.

Lee previously served as senior vice president of security operations at Salesforce and, prior to that, principal director of security engineering for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices division.

He takes the reins from Richard Farley, who “will continue to be an important part of Zoom’s team”, a spokesperson told NS Tech this afternoon. Farley’s new role is still being defined.

Zoom announced in April that Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer and one of the most high profile security professionals in the world, would join the company as a consultant.

The move came as the popularity of the service skyrocketed in the wake of the rise of home working. But, while the service’s popularity soared, so too did scrutiny of the security of its platform.

As NS Tech reported in May, while Zoom was praised for its transparent approach to fixing vulnerabilities, it also came under fire for routing security keys through Chinese servers. It says it did so accidentally and temporarily after failing to “implement its usual geo-fencing best practices”. Taiwan has since banned the platform.

The National Cyber Security Centre has discouraged government officials and politicians from using the service for confidential business, especially if it could be perceived as “detrimental to the interests of China”, the Guardian reported in May.

In light of concerns about users’ privacy, Zoom agreed earlier this month to roll out end-to-end encryption to all users, having initially said the service would only be available to premium customers, which had prompted a fierce backlash from digital rights activists.

Lee will report to Zoom’s chief operating officer Aparna Bawa who said in a statement: “Our customers’ security is extremely important and is at the core of everything we do. We are excited to welcome Jason, who has deep industry experience, understands the complexity of servicing a wide variety of users, and can lead Zoom’s efforts to strengthen the security of our platform during this time of rapid expansion.”

Lee added: “Zoom is on an incredible journey of growth and I am thrilled to bring my experience of running world-class security organisations to the company. Ensuring that customers trust our products is of the utmost importance and I look forward to working with the team to continue instilling security into the DNA of Zoom.”

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