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How App Fatigue Can Be a Problem for Cybersecurity

Man suffering app fatigue

Imagine you are a manager at a company. And you use multiple apps and tools to run your business. You have apps for communication, collaboration, project management, accounting, marketing, sales, customer service, and more. You also have apps for your personal use, such as social media, entertainment, fitness, and banking.

You love apps. They make your life easier and more efficient. They help you connect with your team and your customers. They help you achieve your goals and grow your business.

But there is a downside to having so many apps. You feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications available and the amount of time and energy required to manage them. You have an app fatigue!

App fatigue is the feeling of being stressed and exhausted by the constant use of apps. App fatigue can affect your productivity, performance, and satisfaction at work. But more importantly, it can also expose your company to serious cybersecurity threats that can compromise your data, systems, and reputation.

How? Let’s find out.

Why is App Fatigue Such a Big Deal?

Because app fatigue can have dire consequences for your company’s cybersecurity. According to a study by ESG, 44 percent of alerts go uninvestigated due to app fatigue. This means that potential cyberattacks may go unnoticed and unaddressed, leaving your company vulnerable to data breaches, identity theft, ransomware attacks, malware infections, and compliance violations. Leading to reputational damage, and financial losses. Another report by CCS Insight found that companies with over 1,000 employees maintain about 70 security products from 35 different vendors. This creates a complex and fragmented security landscape that can be hard to manage and monitor effectively.

How Does App Fatigue Affect Your Average Employee?

IT negatively affects their behavior and attitude toward cybersecurity. Think about it, when you are bombarded with notifications, alerts, updates, and requests from various apps, it is easy to become complacent, careless, or even frustrated. You may ignore important updates that contain security patches for known vulnerabilities. You may reuse weak passwords across multiple apps or share them with others. You may turn off alerts that warn you of suspicious activities or malicious links, or download apps from untrusted sources without checking their legitimacy. You may even get so tired that you fall for the infamous “Nigerian prince” or “Chinese domain” email scams!

How to Reduce App Fatigue and Improve Cybersecurity

Woman reducing App Fatigue

Ok, you get how serious this is. So, how do you reduce app fatigue and improve your company’s cybersecurity?

  • Consolidate your apps: Look at all your apps. Are all of them necessary? Essential? Maybe there are a couple of redundant or obsolete apps? Delete or replace apps that are no longer needed or being used.
  • Always update: Update your apps! And do it regularly and promptly. Updates often contain security fixes for known vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Use automated tools or reminders to ensure that you don’t miss any critical updates.
  • Use strong and unique passwords: Use different passwords for different apps and make sure they are strong and complex. Avoid using common or predictable passwords like “admin123” or “qwerty”. Can’t remember all those complex passwords? Use password managers, they are relatively cheap (cheaper than suffering a data breach) and easy to use.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication(MFA): It is free, it is easy, and it adds an extra layer of security. With MFA enabled, even if somebody steals your login credentials they won’t be able to use them without a second factor of verification, such as a code sent to your phone or email, a biometric scan, or a physical token.
  • Review app permissions: You’ve already deleted apps you don’t need. Let’s look at the apps that survived your culling. Check what permissions they are requesting. Are you granting them access to your data, device, network? Only allow permissions that are necessary and relevant for the app’s functionality and revoke permissions that are excessive or suspicious. The calculator app does not need access to your photos and contacts.
  • Educate yourself and your team about phishing: Phishing scams are fraudulent emails or messages that pretend to be from legitimate sources and ask you to click on a link, open an attachment, or provide personal information or login credentials. All phishing attacks have the same goal – to steal your data or infect your systems. So, learn how to recognize phishing attempts and what to do when you encounter them.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

App fatigue is not just a minor annoyance or inconvenience, it is a real and growing problem for many companies. App fatigue can affect your productivity, performance, and satisfaction at work. But more importantly, it can also expose your company to serious cybersecurity threats that can compromise your data, systems, and reputation.

However, by following these steps, you can optimize your app usage and security strategy and protect your company from cyberattacks.

If you want to learn more about app fatigue and how to deal with it, we invite you to schedule a call with one of our experts.

We can help you assess your app inventory and security needs and provide you with customized solutions that suit your business goals and budget. Contact us today and let us help you overcome app fatigue.

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