Keybase, which has been building encryption products for several years including secure file sharing and collaboration tools, should give Zoom some security credibility as it goes through pandemic demand growing pains.
The company has faced a number of security issues in the last couple of months as demand soared and exposed some security weaknesses in the platform. As the company has moved to address these problems, having a team of encryption experts on staff should help the company build a more secure product.
In a blog post announcing the deal, CEO Eric Yuan said Zoom acquired Keybase to give customers a higher level of security, something that's increasingly important to enterprise customers as more operations are relying on the platform, working from home during the pandemic.
He added that that tools will be available for all paying customers as soon as it is incorporated into the product. “Zoom will offer an end-to-end encrypted meeting mode to all paid accounts. Logged-in users will generate public cryptographic identities that are stored in a repository on Zoom’s network and can be used to establish trust relationships between meeting attendees”, he wrote.
Under the terms of the deal, Keybase will become a subsidiary of Zoom and co-founder and Max Krohn will lead the Zoom security engineering team, reporting directly to Yuan to help build the security product. The other almost two dozen employees will become Zoom employees. The vast majority are security engineers.