Yes, this is true. WhatsApp Messenger and other popular apps like WinZip and Where’s My Droid Pro has topped the charts for the most blacklisted iOS and Android apps in the issues concerning business security.
As per the recent Enterprise Mobile Security Pulse Report published by mobile security firm Appthority, the way enterprise authorities tackle mobile security and network threats by banning apps is being considered to be a threat from accessing corporate resources and platforms.
Business houses can blacklist mobile applications, owing to various reasons. The prime ones being known security holes and vulnerabilities or ways in which confidential information might be leaked. This includes a lack of secure communication and encryption, and links to threat actors or countries known for spying campaigns can be considered as the reasons behind barring an app on corporate devices, alongside compliance issues.
However this new age states of bringing in own device schemes,(BYOD), and corporately owned, personally enabled (COPE) platforms, it is anyway not possible to prevent app installation, but even after this, IT admins can at least make an attempt to prevent these applications from connecting to their networks.
Also, according to Appthority, in Q3 2017, WhatsApp Messenger, Pokémon GO, and WinZip were the top blacklisted apps for iOS, together with CamScanner. Further, Poot-debug(W100).apk, an Android System Theme, Where’s My Droid Pro, and weather software were the apps most likely to be banned on Android.
Further, the report also suggested that Android apps were usually blacklisted because malware was detected, and iOS apps were most likely to be banned because of data leakage risks, sending SMS messages and not necessarily with the consent or transferring data including GPS locations and sensitive information without encryption.
In clear terms, tools for Android devices were banned most often, while social media and communication apps for iOS were treated with suspicion.
Appthority also stated that based on “mobile risk scores” related to vulnerabilities and the risk of data leaks, Uber, WhatsApp Messenger, and Facebook Messenger are the riskiest Android apps commonly found in enterprise environments. Facebook, Pandora, and Yelp on the iOS platform are the most likely to cause a security breach
Domingo Guerra, president of Appthority, added that “Enterprise security teams need to understand which mobile apps are being used, the risks they bring, and how their peers are utilizing mobile threat policies to more effectively secure corporate data. With BYOD and COPE, many commonly used app-store approved apps are making their way into enterprises and posing risks to sensitive corporate data.”
Way back in July, Trend Micro and VMware announced a new partnership to tackle enterprise mobile security issues. The companies have also planned to create new solutions which would automatically detect and tackle mobile threats on corporate networks.