School to continue using Zoom despite nationwide Zoom bombing episodes

Siobhan Harms

New York City schools suspended the use of Zoom last week over security concerns, according to an article from the U.S. News & World Report, days after an FBI Public Service Announcement cited a recent increase in cyber actors exploiting virtual environments.

School President Rick Commons said that the school is investigating the reported security issues, but plans to continue to use Zoom after spring break. At this time, Zoom is the primary conferencing tool used by teachers to conduct classes at Harvard-Westlake.

“We have not decided to suspend Zoom and are looking into the security issues that have arisen elsewhere,” Commons said.

To maintain internet safety while using these conferencing tools, the FBI said in a Public Service Announcement published early April that people should be aware of telework vulnerabilities. The FBI advised that individuals refrain from downloading untrusted software and that users understand that remote desktop access tools increase susceptibility to hacking.

In case the school does have to suspend the use of Zoom, Commons said the IT Department is considering contingency plans.

Commons said he is pleased at how well the school has converted to remote learning.

“We are very proud of the way our teachers have transitioned to online classes and the way all of our employees have continued to maintain operations from a safe distance,” Commons said.