Brazilian food and drug regulator bans Zoom

Heightened concerns around security in the pandemic prompted Anvisa to tell staff to use Microsoft Teams instead.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

One of the main entities involved in the Brazilian government's plan to fight the coronavirus outbreak, food an drug regulator Anvisa, has banned the use of video conferencing platform Zoom.

In a memo sent to staff on Monday (6), the regulator, which is responsible for the regulation and approval of pharmaceutical drugs, sanitary standards and regulation of the food industry in Brazil, cited security concerns in the global security community in relation to the platform and requested employees to immediately uninstall the tool from all devices.

According to Anvisa, which operates under the Ministry of Health, the shift to remote working due to the coronavirus outbreak has meant that the agency needed to boost its security arrangements, given that it handles a significant amount of sensitive information.

In a statement, Anvisa added that it is actively involved in the international security community and it follows developments in the industry closely, which "allows the adoption of security measures quickly and proactively."

After banning Zoom, Anvisa told its staff to use Microsoft Teams for videoconferencing, which had already been in place at the agency for over a year.

Considering the increased concerns around security in the pandemic, Anvisa's evaluation was that the existing videoconferencing platform had "has proven to be a stable platform with high levels of availability and security."

The regulator said it would monitor the security improvements made by Zoom before reconsidering the platform in the future.

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