What Is App Fatigue & Why Is It a Security Issue?

June 02, 2023


The increasing number of apps and web tools used by employees has made work more complex. With dozens of digital tools being used in most departments, employees feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of apps. These apps come with various alerts, such as notifications for updates, errors, or security issues, adding to the notification overload. This app fatigue not only affects productivity but also poses a cybersecurity risk. Additionally, employees receive notifications on multiple devices, further exacerbating the problem.

How Does App Fatigue Put Companies at Risk?

Employees Begin Ignoring Updates

The overwhelming number of app alerts faced by employees often leads to the ignoring of updates and tasks perceived as non-urgent, such as installing app updates. This behavior poses a significant risk as many updates include crucial security patches that protect against vulnerabilities, leaving devices and networks exposed to potential cyberattacks.

Employees Reuse Passwords (and They’re Often Weak)

App fatigue also impacts password security, with employees more likely to reuse passwords when managing multiple SaaS accounts. Password reuse significantly increases the risk of credential breaches and subsequent data breaches. Additionally, employees may reach a breaking point where they start turning off alerts altogether, including important security notifications.

Employees May Turn Off Alerts

While some alerts may be unnecessary, disabling critical security alerts can have detrimental consequences, as important warnings may be missed, such as those related to newly discovered viruses or malware. Finding a balance between managing app alerts and maintaining security is crucial in mitigating these risks.

What’s the Answer to App Fatigue?

Streamline Your Business Applications

To streamline your business applications and improve productivity and security, it is advisable to minimize the number of apps used. Reducing app redundancy helps mitigate risks and reduces the burden of remembering multiple passwords and addressing numerous notifications. Consider adopting umbrella platforms like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, offering multiple work tools accessible through a single login.

Have Your IT Team Set up Notifications

Delegate the setup of app notifications to your IT team, ensuring important notifications are received without overwhelming users.

Automate Application Updates

Automating device and software updates is a cybersecurity best practice that enhances productivity by removing unnecessary updates from employees' views. Implementing managed services for automated device updates improves security and minimizes the risk of vulnerable apps compromising your network.

Open a Two-Way Communication About Alerts

Foster open communication with employees regarding alerts, assuring them that they won't face repercussions for adjusting notification settings. Collaboratively discuss effective alert usage and strategies for managing alerts to enhance productivity in the workplace.

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