Researchers at Northeastern University have found several ‘alarming’ privacy holes within popular Android apps – these include taking and distributing photos and screenshots without the users’ express knowledge. The research paper evaluated nearly 18,000 apps in the Google Play marketplace and they reported that some apps would take screenshots whilst others would covertly record conversations.
The researchers noted:
“Our study revealed several alarming privacy risks in the Android app ecosystem, including apps that over-provision their media permissions and apps that share image and video data with other parties in unexpected ways, without the user’s knowledge or consent.”
These findings highlight a worrying reality for IT leadership within a fast-changing digital landscape. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) landscape has epitomised the ‘new’ workplace that millions of people experience. Yet, apps downloaded by users, interacting with your organisation’s data via email or other sources, could result in your business being breached.
One way of alleviating the worry surrounding this growing reality is to retaliate by providing staff with mobile security solutions – some organisations are providing staff with mobile subscriptions to security apps that help to improve device security – companies like BlackBerry and IBM are leaders in digital mobile security.