TikTok Ban and Cybersecurity

TikTok Ban and CybersecurityThe Montana House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would ban TikTok for all consumers in the state. The bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for signing. If signed into law, the measure would make it illegal to download the social media app in the state, effective January 2024. The move by Montana creates many questions for Apple, Google, and cybersecurity experts.

The law seeks to ban the app from its source, leveling a fine of $10,000 per day to any entity that makes it available for download; this would include Apple, Google, and possibly TikTok itself. Apple and Google have already responded that it’s not possible to limit downloads to a single state.

The first state ban also raises cybersecurity questions. If multiple states or the country attempts to ban the social media app for security purposes, does it open up more significant security concerns for those seeking to circumvent the ban?

Cybersecurity experts are already exploring how the app may be banned and how users may choose to get around the ban. If the app is banned by filtering network traffic to the US, consumers may use a VPN to appear as if they are accessing the site from another country. Virtual private networks (VPNs) can shield network traffic and are commonly used to access country-specific streaming content.

Governments could also choose to block the app at the Domain Name System (DNS) level, which would remove the ability for web browsers to find the site. DNS sinkholes are a method used to stop malware by essentially hiding it from the internet. Getting around a DNS ban is possible, but it adds greater security concerns for the end user.

The method Montana is seeking is to ban the app from mobile devices. Users could get around this ban by “jailbreaking” or “rooting” their devices, a practice more common in the early days of smartphones. This method would introduce massive security concerns because the device would no longer be protected by continuous security updates that address real-time vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity landscape.

The social media app continues to be a cybersecurity question businesses must contend with. The conversation around a ban and how it could be accomplished is just beginning.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright