TikTok on Company Devices: A Security Risk?

TikTok has gained enormous popularity and the TikTok app is increasingly being installed on company phones. In this article, we explain why and when this poses a security risk and how to minimize such risks.

TikTok on a company smartphones and tablets can be a risk.
TikTok on a company devices – a security risk?

TikTok has achieved enormous popularity in recent years and is now one of the most widely used social media apps worldwide. However, the app is also increasingly being installed on company phones, as many employees use their mobile devices for both personal and business purposes. This can potentially pose a risk to IT security and data protection, but can be minimized through suitable measures, especially by using Mobile Device Management, e.g. Cortado MDM.

Why TikTok on Company Phones can be a Security Risk

TikTok states on its website that it collects a variety of data from its users (see the TikTok Privacy Policy). This includes location data, device information, biometric data such as facial recognition, and information about how users use the app. According to TikTok, this information is used to create and recommend personalized content and for advertising.

However, TikTok’s data collection is viewed critically in many places. Most recently, the EU has banned the use of TikTok on official devices in all three government institutions, as reported by CNN here. North American governments have also expressed significant security concerns and ordered the deletion of the app on work devices. According to the Canadian government, an internal review found that “TikTok’s data collection methods could make users vulnerable to cyberattacks” (see DW report).

In addition, TikTok can pose  potential risks to data protection. If employees use TikTok on company devices and import contact data, this can lead to data protection issues for the company, especially when business contacts are involved. Any resulting GDPR violations may be met with expensive fines..

How to Minimize Risks with MDM

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a technology that allows companies to centrally manage mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. MDM systems like that of Cortado can be used to control and restrict the use of apps like TikTok on company devices.

Installing TikTok does not necessarily have to be fully prohibited. With the help of Mobile Device Management (MDM), you can ensure strict separation of personal and business data on company devices and create a secure and encrypted environment in which business data is stored entirely separately from personal data. For example, it can be ensured that privately used apps like TikTok no longer have any access to business contacts.

Overall, Mobile Device Management can help ensure the security and integrity of company devices, especially when dealing with potentially unsafe apps like TikTok. By using MDM systems, companies can control and restrict the use of apps on company devices to ensure the highest level of security and data protection.

Training and Clear Policies Are Key

Another important tip is to train your employees. It is important that companies educate their employees about the risks of apps like TikTok on company phones. Employees should be informed about how these apps work and what data they collect. Training can also help employees feel more secure in handling mobile devices and better understand how to use their company devices securely.

In addition, companies should establish clear policies for the use of company phones to ensure that employees do not take security risks – preferably as part of a usage agreement. Companies should also ensure that employees know what to do if they identify a potential security breach or data loss.

With these measures, companies can ensure that their employees are informed about the risks of TikTok and other apps on company devices and are aware of how to use their mobile devices securely. In combination with Mobile Device Management, companies can minimize the risk of data protection violations and security vulnerabilities and ensure the security of company data.

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