Society is well and truly in the grip of Pokemon fever or, more specifically, Pokemon Go fever. This apparently benign augmented-reality game is a huge hit in Canada, and is installed on more than 6% of Android devices in the country. However, a Calgary-based firm of IT experts is warning how the nature of the application could render it a danger to business.
Earlier this month, Frontier Solutions published an article detailing the potential dangers associated with Pokemon Go, and explaining why business owners should be very wary of the app. Like many cutting-edge applications, Pokemon Go thrives off the information we feed into it. Once installed, the app will request permission to access user location, contacts, camera and stored items, and when the app is installed on an employee’s company device, the potential problems become apparent.
Before going on to explain how any data collected by the app can be easily distributed and then used to access sensitive accounts Frontier Solutions’ Terry Rowsell wrote;
“Although Nintendo itself might not be planning a massive data breach, such permissions are extremely risky in the current environment where cybercrimes have become rampant.”
By installing Pokemon Go on devices also used to access and utilize company data, employees could be opening up your organization to Niantic and its dubious data policies.
Data breaches can be catastrophic to businesses, but so can malware attacks, which is why it is troubling that Pokemon Go has become associated with this sort of cybercrime. The problem first arose when the launch of the app was staggered between countries. By this time, the hype had already grown beyond breaking point, and so a number of imitation apps were created by independent developers to plug the gap.
It is these imitation apps, as Frontier Solutions points out, which pose the biggest danger in terms of malware and web security. Remote access tools – such as DroidJack, which targets Android users specifically – have been detected in some fraudulent versions of the game. Once this tool infects a business device, the potential ramifications can be disastrous.
Rowsell recommends that companies implement and enforce Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) whereby personal applications cannot be downloaded onto company phones or other company devices and protect business data by enabling stored data encryption on all mobile devices.
Frontier Solutions Inc. (FSI) is a Calgary, Alberta- based information technology (IT) firm established in 1995, specializing in managed IT services for small to medium-sized businesses in the Calgary area.
For more info, contact:
Terry Rowsell, President
Frontier Solutions Inc.
Phone: (403) 251-4402