MoD stockpiles 550 Zoom accounts despite security concerns

MOD also invests in 10,000 Microsoft 365 accounts and 20,000 units of hardware

The MoD has purchased 550 Zoom video conferencing licenses despite ongoing security concerns raised by security agencies in both the UK and the US. The MoD licences represent 75% of the video conferencing purchased by six major government departments, including 150 for the Cabinet Office, 15 for the Foreign Office, 8 for the Home Office, five by the Treasury, and three by the Ministry of Justice according to FOI data obtained by the Parliament Street think tank.

The figures reveal investments have been made since January 2020, which include Zoom accounts, Microsoft 365 subscriptions, and a number of hardware purchases.

They show preparations for coping with coronavirus have varied wildly between a host of the most important government departments. The MoD itself, was reported by Sky News as having prohibited staff from using the service while security implications were investigated toward the end of March. This revelation emerged after Boris Johnson was photographed hosting a cabinet meeting using the platform. New Zealand’s security services have prohibited Zoom from being used when dealing with information classified above “restricted”.

Since Zoom’s rise to prominence during the worldwide lockdown, several security-related issues have emerged, including the phenomenon known as ‘Zoom-bombing’.

Beyond purchasing Zoom licenses, the MoD also invested in 9,476 Microsoft 365 licenses, alongside 70 accounts by HM Treasury and three by the cabinet office.

The department’s hardware investments were also significant, purchasing 18,963 laptops, tablets and smartphones since the start of the year. The Ministry of Justice, which employs 70,000, bought 12,136 pieces of hardware.

I wonder how many of those will get left on the train?

If you are concerned about your company’s security and communications during lockdown, give our IT Team a call on 0345 450 9393.