The current global economic situation has impacted organizations across the globe and prompted a dramatic increase in the number of employees working remotely. With this change, the importance of cloud-based, enterprise-grade collaboration tools and video conferencing solutions has become more apparent than ever.
In an effort to ensure business continuity and an engaged remote workforce, the demand for video conferencing solutions has skyrocketed. As businesses rushed to implement solutions for their remote teams, many soon discovered that not all video conferencing platforms are created equal. Zoom, for example, is facing intense scrutiny— its security and privacy issues have become front-page news. Zoom is under investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office, the F.B.I. has issued a warning about the risk of Zoom meetings being hijacked (known as “Zoombombing”), and a growing number of government agencies, schools, and businesses are either discouraging its use or banning it completely.
In contrast, Google Meet is a solution that provides the security layer many enterprises require. Fully integrated with G Suite and built atop Google’s secure-by-design global infrastructure, Google Meet is an enterprise-grade video conferencing solution suitable for both businesses and educational institutions. With more than 2 million new users connecting on Google Meet every day, businesses are increasingly relying on Meet to keep their remote employees engaged and productive.
Here are 7 reasons why many organizations are opting for Google Meet:
1. Security by Default
The rise of Zoombombing was fueled by Zoom’s own security settings. Zoom conferences are public by default. If users do not manually disable this function, anyone who has a link can join and share their screen. Conversely, Google Meet’s security settings are turned on by default. In most cases, users don’t have to do anything to ensure that their meetings and data are secure. Additional Google Meet security features include:
- Only meeting creators and calendar owners can mute or remove other participants.
- Only meeting creators and calendar owners can approve requests to join made by external participants.
- Meeting participants can’t rejoin nicknamed meetings once the final participant has left.
Google Meet also benefits from the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) defense-in-depth approach to security, which utilizes Google’s built-in protections and global-private network.
2. Proactive Defenses Against Hijackers
Zoom conference links are identified by a 9-, 10-, or 11-digit number. As a result, would-be Zoombombers who don’t have a meeting link handy can use automated scripts to find a valid Zoom conference ID and hack into your internal meetings.
In contrast, Google Meet uses a 25-character string for meeting IDs, which makes brute-force automated hacking far more difficult. Additionally, external participants cannot automatically join Google meetings unless they’ve received an invitation from the host. Without an invite link, they must request to join, and this request must be approved by a member of the host organization.
3. Privacy Is Non-Negotiable
In addition to security vulnerabilities, Zoom has gotten into quite a bit of hot water over the unauthorized sharing of user data with third parties, including Facebook. The company has since stopped sharing data with Facebook, but it still faces four class-action lawsuits over the Facebook debacle and other alleged privacy violations. Over one-third of Zoom users are concerned about data leaks.
In contrast, Google Cloud is committed to customer data privacy. Google Meet data, like all other data stored on Google Cloud, is processed only according to customers’ instructions, and it is never used for advertising purposes.
G Suite Enterprise and G Suite for Education customers are also covered by Google Cloud’s Access Transparency policy. Under Access Transparency, whenever a Google employee must access Google Meet recordings stored in Drive (such as to fix a problem with a customer account), the employee must fill out a log noting the date, time, and reason for the access.
Customers can also use Google’s Data Regions feature to choose the geographic location where select/covered data for Google Meet recordings will be stored at rest.
4. Reliable Encryption in Transit
Not only did Zoom mislead customers into thinking its meetings were secured by end-to-end encryption (they’re not), but researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered that Zoom’s encryption algorithm is riddled with serious, well-known weaknesses. Further, it sometimes uses encryption keys issued by servers in China, even when all meeting participants are located in North America. As a result, the researchers point out, if Chinese authorities demand that Zoom hand over the encryption keys to a particular meeting, Zoom may be legally obligated to do so.
All data within Google Meet is encrypted in transit by default, and it adheres to IETF security standards for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP). Meet generates a unique encryption key for every person and every meeting. This key is transmitted in an encrypted and secured RPC (remote procedure call) during the meeting setup, lives only as long as the meeting, and is never stored to disk.
5. No Desktop Software to Install
Zoom requires desktop users to download an app to use the service, a feature that hackers have quickly cashed in on. Phony Zoom installers abound, bundled with coin miners, adware, and other malware goodies.
Google Meet works entirely in desktop browsers, which not only minimizes the potential attack surface but also eliminates the need to push out frequent security patches. Google recommends that mobile users install the official Google Meet app, available on Google Play.
6. Same UX on Mobile As on Desktop
Zoom users on mobile have found themselves vexed by a user experience that is inferior to the desktop app, with some tools, such as in-meeting controls, completely unavailable. Google Meet offers the same experience and functionality on mobile as it does on desktop. With Meet’s specially designed iOS and Android apps, you can see your meetings for the day with all the important information from Calendar, then join with a tap or dial in to join.
7. Google Meet for Free Until September 30, 2020
Businesses and government agencies can give Google Meet a spin for free until September 30, 2020. The Google Meet free offer includes the ability to host meetings with up to 250 participants, broadcast with Livestream to up to 100,000 viewers, real-time closed captioning, and enterprise support with remote live training, so that your users can get up to speed quickly.
Our team of experts are available to show you why Google Meet is trusted by leading companies around the world. Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), for example, is finding Meet and other G Suite communication tools invaluable during the COVID-19 epidemic:
“With Google G Suite and SADA’s services, CHA has transformed how our staff and caregivers work, providing collaborative tools to better patient care. We didn’t realize how integral G Suite had become to our daily work until dealing with a pandemic where consistent communication with our CHA staff was of utmost importance. To engage our workforce, we use Google Meet, Calendaring, and even Livestream to book enterprise events. With one click staff can connect from their Gmail, Calendars, or from Google Meet enabled conference rooms across 3 hospitals, 15 health centers, as well as caregivers connecting remotely from home. We use all of the G Suite tools: Sites, Shared Drives, Forms, and Google Slides for our presentations and have used Q&A in Slides to create an interactive experience for all participants. That’s the true power of a collaboration suite. G Suite is technology at its best. Simple, powerful, useful.”James LaPlante, Sr. Director, Technology and Biomedical Services at Cambridge Health Alliance.
This blog is an independent production of SADA Systems Inc., an award-winning reseller of Google Cloud products and services. SADA is an independent third party and has no affiliation with either Google LLC or Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Neither Google Cloud nor Zoom were involved in the drafting or production of this blog. All errors or omissions are SADA’s sole responsibility.