How Is App Fatigue a Risk for Cybersecurity?
The average American has over 80 apps on their smartphone. Apps are useful and have become a mainstay in offices, and while the convenience they offer is second to none, having too many might be more harmful than good.
Smartphones are not the only devices that use apps. There are PC apps, websites (which come with their notifications), and others, such as cloud-based tools. IoT devices, which are increasing at an astronomical rate every year, should not be left out of this conversation. And finally, there are work apps and leisure apps. There are only so many apps one can have installed, anyways.
It can be tiring to have to open several apps every day, and juggling between apps can get overwhelming quickly. Using multiple apps can negatively affect our person, especially when it comes to maintaining good cybersecurity levels. What happens to you is a phenomenon referred to as app fatigue.
So, what’s app fatigue, and how is it a risk for cybersecurity? This article has all the answers you need.
Understanding What Is App Fatigue
The fact that apps have become an integral aspect of our daily lives and activities is a major reason why app fatigue has become a significant concern. The seemingly endless number of apps, coupled with their constant notification tones and sounds, is making people get tired of them. This is quite unlike a time when having a new app gave so much intrigue and satisfaction.
In other words, when app users are getting too overwhelmed with the number of apps they have to use to get by, which is typified by the dropping number of new apps users are installing every day, app developers can pinpoint its cause, but there is not so much they can do about it. It gets even worse when cellular data is turned on or the device is connected to Wi-Fi. Hence, it is not surprising to see new users refusing to download new apps to their devices; after all, they still need to finish perusing the older ones.
If you found that last fact unbelievable, then think of this, when last did you feel so happy about downloading a new app, especially if a friend or colleague introduced the app to you? In fact, it is more likely that you installed it and disabled its notifications after a while due to its constant noise. This phenomenon is called alert fatigue and is a sub-form of app fatigue.
Many apps already offer you what you need, so it makes no sense to get new ones. Yes, some others offer new features, but you will only need them if they offer something different that you need rather than want, which is usually unlikely.
In essence, most users already have installed on their devices apps that help them in their daily life, so they do not need to add a new one to the already-burgeoning collection. So there is no need to get new ones.
So how does app fatigue induce the risk of cybersecurity?
How App Fatigue Causes Cybersecurity Issues
Getting numerous alerts and notifications from tablets, computers, and smartphone apps is not new. Hence, it is common to ignore these alerts or disable them altogether. Some of these apps are barely opened in months. This behavior is precisely what induces the risk of cybersecurity; some of the notifications could be messages about an app being used by hackers to try to gain permission to access your phone.
As most users do not practice proper cybersecurity hygiene, the risk of getting hacked increases. Another thing the refusal or inability to practice proper cybersecurity hygiene causes is that it increases the surface area IT analysts and cybersecurity professionals have to cover and pinpoint the source of an attack.
Too much negligence in your cybersecurity arena offers better openings for hackers to wiggle through. As you get increasingly weary of the usual alerts, the risk of getting hacked increases. You are more prone to ignoring important messages that could prevent hackers from getting in. This is why you should always be on guard by checking every notification. Also, ensure you do not respond to notifications when you are weary; that is your weakest and most unsuspecting point, which hackers always seek to exploit through phishing scams.
The number of IoT devices and gadgets being installed and used worldwide for various purposes ranging between education, personal, work, and medicals is increasing daily. The number of apps employees have to use to carry out their daily tasks is also rising by the day. These are pointers to the incoming wave of app fatigue.
Hackers do not rest, and neither should you. You stand to lose much more than they ever will.
How to Reduce the Risk of Cybersecurity Caused by App Fatigue
Businesses can reduce the cybersecurity risks induced by app fatigue through a combination of different solutions. These solutions fall under three broad headings:
– Policies, and
Education is vital to preventing app fatigue and the risks it brings. Users and employees should be encouraged only to install and use apps approved as secure and functional for use by the IT and HR departments. They can also be taught to look for unusual and malicious app behavior, such as repeated app permissions and suspicious file creation.
Policies can also help in the fight against app fatigue. Businesses should develop, implement, and enforce straightforward policies on using apps vetted for use by the business. The policy, potential effect, and consequences for using non-vetted apps should also be communicated properly and consistently.
Technology will play a practical part through solutions such as MDMs (mobile device management). These solutions help businesses monitor and enforce app policies on company-owned devices when in use. These solutions can also help the IT department and external consultants constantly and consistently monitor if the devices have the latest security patches and updates.
Avoid App Fatigue With AhelioTech
Every business out there seeks to avoid app fatigue as it can impact bottom lines and cause a lot of harm to the business. AhelioTech can take care of this for you. Contact us here to get started.