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Why the EU has forbidden the TikTok app on official devices?

  • 5 min read

The European Union has banned access to TikTok on its official devices due to concerns over the platform’s Chinese origins and potential security risks. TikTok has been known to collect user data and share it with the Chinese government, raising privacy and data security concerns. Additionally, the platform can be used to spread malicious software or propaganda through its content, making it unsafe for organizational systems.

Overview of TikTok

TikTok is a popular social media platform that allows users to create and share short-form videos. It has seen exponential growth in recent years, particularly among younger generations. However, there have been concerns about the platform’s data collection practices and security measures, particularly because it is owned by a Chinese company. 

Recently, the rise of TikTok in social media has been exponential. While this platform can be a great source of entertainment, organizations should be aware of the potential risks they face if they allow access to this platform in their networks. 

Potential Security Risks of Allowing Employees to Access TikTok

TikTok is known to collect data from users, which can include personal information, location data, and browsing history. This data can be used for targeted advertising and other marketing purposes. Additionally, the platform is infamous for its lack of security measures, making it vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Moreover, TikTok has been accused of hosting inappropriate content and sharing user data with third-party companies, which could result in reputational damage, financial loss, and legal liabilities for the organization. Therefore, it is essential for organizations to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of allowing employees to access TikTok and consider blocking the app in the organization’s network.

To mitigate the risks posed by TikTok, organizations should develop and enforce an acceptable use policy that outlines what apps and websites are permitted to be used on the organization’s network. Employees should also be educated on the potential risks of using TikTok and other social media platforms and encouraged to practice safe online practices. Network security solutions can be implemented to detect and block TikTok traffic and other potentially risky apps and websites. Organizations should also regularly monitor network traffic to identify any unauthorized or suspicious activity, ensure that all devices accessing the organization’s network have the latest software updates and security patches installed, and implement multi-factor authentication for access to sensitive data and systems. 

Regularly backing up important data and conducting disaster recovery drills can also prepare the organization for any potential data loss or cyber-attacks.

How can organizations block TikTok Access Through Network Security Solutions

This is difficult to maintain, particularly when employees and visitors bring their own devices. Not allowing the installation of this application is probably not enough.

Organizations can block TikTok access through network security solutions such as those offered by Cubro, which can detect and block the application running on any device on the network. Cubro offers two solutions to block TikTok or any other application accessing the Internet. The solutions can also block and throttle the application on subscriber/user level and be geolocation or time-related. 

Cubro’s application filtering solution is a smart decision to alleviate the burden on monitoring and security tools, leading to an optimized return on investment. Filtering network traffic based on applications simplifies the monitoring process and helps eliminate extraneous traffic, including Social Media or video streaming content that isn’t relevant for analysis. By implementing best practices and network security solutions, organizations can reduce the potential security risks posed by TikTok and other social media platforms, protect their data and systems, and maintain a positive brand image.

Cubro’s Application Filtering

Conclusion: Benefits of Blocking TikTok Access in Corporate Networks

Blocking TikTok access in corporate networks can provide several benefits for organizations, including:

  1. Mitigating Security Risks: TikTok collects user data, which includes personal information and browsing history, and shares it with the Chinese government. This poses a significant security risk to corporate networks as it may lead to data leakage and unauthorized access to sensitive information. By blocking TikTok, organizations can reduce potential security risks and protect their data and systems.
  2. Improving Network Performance: TikTok and other social media platforms consume a significant amount of bandwidth, which can slow down the network and affect the performance of other applications. By blocking TikTok, organizations can reduce the bandwidth consumption and improve network performance, ensuring critical applications run smoothly.
  3. Maintaining a Positive Brand Image: TikTok is known for its inappropriate content, which can have a negative impact on an organization’s brand image if accessed through its corporate network. By blocking TikTok, organizations can reduce the risk of reputational damage and ensure their employees are not exposed to inappropriate content.
  4. Compliance with Regulations: Some countries and industries have regulations that require organizations to ensure the security and privacy of their data. By blocking TikTok, organizations can comply with these regulations and avoid potential legal liabilities.

In summary, blocking TikTok access in corporate networks can reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, protect data, and improve network performance. It can also reduce the harm of unwanted content, which could have legal implications for management and free up bandwidth in the network, which unwanted applications can steal.