Video conferencing app Zoom has more than 200 million daily users in March 2020 from a previous maximum of 10 million.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in a blog post today said Webex capabilities have increased. “Last week, we saw close to 240,000 online sign-ups in a 24-hour period. In one day alone, Webex handled 4.2 million meetings – more than twice the average on a peak day before the pandemic. We have also hosted 14 billion meeting minutes in March, more than double the number in February,” Chuck Robbins said.
Microsoft said its business-focused Teams was used by 1.56 million mobile users on Monday, while Slack had less than 500,000 mobile users.
Research firm Apptopia estimated that Zoom’s daily U.S. mobile user volumes rose to a record 4.84 million for the same day.
Zoom faces security issues
The use of Zoom and other digital communications have surged with political parties, corporate offices, school districts, organizations and millions across the world working from home after lockdowns were enforced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“To put this growth in context, as of the end of December last year, the maximum number of daily meeting participants, both free and paid, conducted on Zoom was approximately 10 million, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said in a letter to Zoom users on Wednesday.
Eric Yuan said that Zoom usage has taken off over the last few weeks, with more than 90,000 schools across 20 countries, using its video conferencing services to conduct classes remotely.
The huge influx of users on its popular platform has raised a lot of issues for the company – mainly privacy.
“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s – and our own – privacy and security expectations,” Yuan said. “For that, I am deeply sorry.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office issued a warning on Monday about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions.
A couple of days later, Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has banned its employees from using the Zoom app, saying the app had significant privacy and security concerns.
Eric Yuan acknowledged the problems in his letter saying, “over the next 90 days, we are committed to dedicating the resources needed to better identify, address, and fix issues proactively.”
Zoom sits atop Apple’s rankings of the most popular free apps in dozens of countries, according to data from analytics company App Annie.
Unlike Apple’s FaceTime for iOS, Zoom is also available on Android and on any laptop. It’s also designed to make IT departments comfortable, and people can start video calls for free, as long as they’re kept under 40 minutes and below 100 participants, according to a report in CNBC.
When you use Zoom, you can upload a picture or a video to create a virtual background. It’s so popular that on Thursday software giant Microsoft said it’s adding a similar tool to its Teams service.
On March 13, Zoom started removing the 40-minute call limit for free accounts at tens of thousands of schools in the U.S. and other countries.
What is Cisco doing differently?
Cisco said it taking preventive actions like load balancing, phased scaling, continual capacity management, segmenting user types such as mission critical groups (healthcare, government, and critical infrastructure), and running a global backbone that is connected with redundancies, failovers, and capability sets.
Cisco said it will to do everything it can to keep people and organizations secure and protect their privacy.
Cisco, as the largest enterprise security company in the world, will protect customers as their workforces go remote.
Cisco said it has added more than 9 million security users since the roll-out of its offerings. Duo Security, Cisco’s multi-factor authentication solution, added more than 3,300 new organizations in the last week alone.
Cisco Umbrella, DNS-layer security offering, as well as Cisco AnyConnect, VPN solution, have both seen triple digit percentage increases in signups.