Digital Workplace: How Safe is the FaceApp


Mobile devices can put your company's data at risk

Have third-party applications like FaceApp led to security concerns in your organization? In a time before the modern digital workplace, enterprise companies provided everything an employee needed to do their best work. Things such as pagers, home phone lines, and office supplies were all reimbursable. Just like many of those practices have ended, so have the days of being hardwired to a phone line (think dial-up machines), sending faxes, and having heavy, stationary computers. Today's mobile technology has let us cut the cords on our devices and work while we play and sometimes even play while we work.

BYOD is Good and Bad in the Digital Workplace

In today's digital workplace, companies looking to cut costs and increase employee satisfaction allow workers to take advantage of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices. While they use these smartphones, tablets, and laptops to do their jobs in a virtual environment – and enjoy exactly the brands and operating systems they want – they can also add applications which can affect your business and its overall security.

When we share personal data such as photos and contacts with an app, there's always the question of how much privacy we're sacrificing by giving information to third parties in exchange for compelling services or features. Such concerns surged recently as interest around FaceApp, the viral app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to apply realistic filters and effects to photos, flared up.

Social media feeds were flooded with selfies from celebrities and others using the app's old-age filter. However, the Russia-based company's vague terms of use, which indicate the firm retains the right to use photos and content uploaded to the app, quickly sparked privacy concerns. So, where does this leave IT departments and business leaders in finding an efficient way to manage enterprise mobility and security?

Today's Risks Like FaceApp Warrant Having a Trusted Partner

While these issues may seem daunting, you can protect your digital workplace with third-party providers that manage your network services – including security – with mobility management programs customized to the devices you support.

One example is CompuCom's Endpoint Security Services which provides enterprise corporations with 24/7 cybersecurity support. While assisting companies with security compliance, it monitors IT infrastructure and takes automated action or alerts security staff.

Does Your Business Take an "It Won't Happen to Us" Approach?

Everyone knows you should have antivirus applications running on your work and personal computers, but far fewer people take the threat of malware attacks to their mobile devices seriously. Part of the problem is that malware attacks on mobile platforms are still relatively rare. Compared to the volume of malware targeting desktop platforms, mobile malware is a drop in the ocean. However, some data shows that mobile malware is increasing, specifically on Android, which has a massive market share and is a frequent target for attackers.

According to Tyler Shields of security firm Veracode, corporate smartphone users don't think that the risk is real, or that chances are so slim that it won't impact them. They assume that all apps downloaded from an official marketplace are secure and antivirus programs can be a drag on their computers, so why bother slowing down their phones?

Conversely, companies don't give their users any reason to take the threat seriously. They don't offer financial incentives and they don't implement coercive tactics – punishments for what would happen if their phones were successfully attacked as a result of user negligence. Moreover, most corporations don't ingrain any moral imperative by creating a culture where the threat of smartphone attacks is widely understood and the measures needed to prevent them is implicitly valued.

The Dangers of Mixing Business and Pleasure

Increasingly, employers are providing their workers with mobile devices. The ability of employees to work from anywhere at any time boosts productivity but poses a significant security risk. When staff leaves the company's secure network for their homes, their children's schools, and areas with public Wi-Fi, so can all of the company's information.

A Norton Report shows that:

  • 49 percent of people use their mobile devices for both work and play
  • 52 percent of mobile users say they store sensitive files online
  • One-quarter of those who use online file storage use the same account for both work and personal data
  • 21 percent share passwords and logins with families, while 18 percent share passwords and logins with friends
  • 30 percent of parents allow their children to use their work device to play, shop, or download

The average cost of a corporate data breach is a whopping $3.92 million, according to a 2019 report by the Ponemon Institute.

You Are the Gatekeeper of Your Information

Whatever you choose to do, be wary of the virtual events ravaging the industry. Take them seriously and implement the right teams, resources, and plans to make sure your organization doesn't fall victim.

Things don't have to be complicated. A trusted partner like CompuCom is a single source for end-to-end hardware services with access to thousands of top technology vendors. We are committed to keeping your company safe from external threats trying to do your company harm by stealing data, accessing private information, and slowing down your network.

Comments are moderated and will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

Add new comment

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • Carlos Soto's picture

    Carlos Soto

    Director of Content and Product Marketing

    Carlos Soto is the Director of Content and Product Marketing at CompuCom with a passion for communicating the value associated with the transformation of an innovative tool, service or technology to foster its adoption.

[x] Close

Sign Up for Email