A Chinese app, TikTok, which features homemade videos has been a topic of controversy. The Chinese government recently introduced new tech rules that threaten to put the US sale at risk, while it’s reported that the Trump administration is looking at banning even more Chinese apps.
The international incident is set to continue for some time, with TikTok a bystander in a war of words and actions between the east and west. But, what are the implications for businesses? How will companies be affected by the news that TikTok is a security threat?
Old Habits Die Hard
This isn’t the first time the Chinese company has been accused of lax security measures. In January, the business confirmed there were severe SMS security threats, which among other things, put the safety of young children at risk.
The year before, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined TikTok for data privacy breaches relating to its young users, while Oded Vanunu of Check Point called it “a backdoor onto every device,” and said the chance a user will click on malware is “much higher.” Although updates were rolled out, the new claims highlight the lack of security culture within the organization.
While there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is harvesting data and relaying it to Beijing, there is proof of data harvesting on a monumental scale. TikTok was one of the apps highlighted during the latest iOS software scandal, where text copied to the clipboard of Apple devices was readable by other applications.
This leaves users, such as your employees, open to hacks as the clipboard could contain sensitive information that anybody with access can read. It may be as insignificant as a shopping list or as substantial as passwords and bank details.
Big Business Ban
Many entrepreneurs aren’t fearful enough to lower employee morale and force a blanket ban on the application. However, there is growing evidence to support the claims made against TikTok, with companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon leading the way.
Wells Fargo has told workers to delete the app from company devices, and even though a leaked Amazon email was walked back, it’s clearly an issue to the Silicon Valley company. Even the US Senate is looking to remove the app from government devices as it believes the lack of security poses a major threat to users.
The world’s most valuable startup has around one billion monthly, which is a lot of data. It also has links to the Chinese government, connections that make the current government uneasy. Without any evidence to state that information is being leaked to China for spying purposes, it’s not fair to say it’s a problem.
However, what is problematic is the unpredictable nature of TikTok’s future. Even as it tries to distance itself from Beijing, the business may have to change dramatically to do so, and it may not even be allowed to do so depending on the level of censorship. TikTok has vulnerabilities that make it a threat to businesses, ones that should be considered when you think about downloading the app.
To ensure your business’ security, consult with an IT Company in Dallas to test whether your systems have been compromised, or set up security measures that fit your needs in order to ensure you have the security necessary to protect your business integrity.