Social apps in general are ‘reasonably safe’: Infoblox CEO

Infoblox CEO Jesper Andersen joins Yahoo Finance's On The Move panel to break down work from home vulnerabilities for corporate networks.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: You're watching "On The Move." I'm Julie Hyman. We have been watching a lot of cybersecurity concerns around people working from home. Whether they're logged into VPNs remotely or just using work equipment, for example, there are a lot of issues to be dealt with around this. We're joined now by Jesper Andersen. He is CEO of Infoblox, which is a company that deals with this. He's joining us from California.

Jesper, before we get into the sort of ins and outs of the regular work from home environment, I do want to ask you about the security of something in particular, and that is TikTok, because there has been a lot of attention on this. Obviously, people at home, people in the office sometimes, too, are doing social media on their work laptops, their work-issued phones, et cetera. Is there a legitimate security concern with an app like TikTok?

JESPER ANDERSEN: I think-- I think social apps in general are probably reasonably safe. There's a lot at stake for companies that run social applications to make sure they take security very, very serious. There is an added element here of China versus not China. But generally, social-- social apps are a pretty safe.

Now, there is a question that every company has to ask of how much do I want to allow my employees during work time to spend time on non-work applications? And there are definitely technologies where companies can decide what to block and not block. We at-- at Infoblox are an example of a company that provides such technologies.

But many, many companies in the cyber security space kind of provides that. So I would say-- and first of all, if-- I know you were discussing TikTok earlier. If TikTok can continue in the United States, I know my daughters will be very happy about that. But I think there's a-- there's a difference between a consumer and a-- and how a company thinks about it as well. Of course, that all blends together now that we're working at home.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I have a question--

- I'm sorry, Adam.

ADAM SHAPIRO: No, I had a quick question about this working from home issue, because there is this concern that some of the devices that might be listening to us-- although we're told they're not-- that that would be a weak point and a point of vulnerability, where someone who wanted to perhaps get into a work system could come in through your home device. Is that a serious issue?

JESPER ANDERSEN: It certainly can be. I think if people think about the work from home environment that we're all in now today, you know, you're seeing a very different work environment. Part of the whole digital transformation that we're all part of is you're working from home networks. You're working before the pandemic, from-- from Starbucks coffee shops.

And so the whole kind of architecture of the network and how we interact with our work applications have-- have changed a lot. It's-- it's-- it's because of that that we're seeing cyber criminals intensify their attacks. Ray Wang from Constellation Research and his company have noted that the cyber security attacks have increased by almost 400% since the COVID pandemic started.

So it's obviously a very real threat, with specifics to the IoT kind of scenario. Yes, there are more and more devices we're putting on our home networks. They are not all equally secure. You're seeing scenarios where maybe we put security cameras or we put sensors for whatever devices we have in the home on.

And some of them are manufactured in a way that you can't change the default password. So if someone can get on to our network, they can get onto those devices. And, of course, the fear is as we are working from home more or our kids are going to school from home, that that can compromise network, and that the cyber criminals can sort of leverage that way into-- into more secure networks. And that's obviously a big concern.

JULIE HYMAN: It is a big concern. And Jesper, talk to me a little bit about the-- the increase in demand that you have been seeing in the past six months as this all has been going on in terms of new clients or expanded services for existing clients. And-- and what's the sort of number one concern on the part of those new clients who are coming in with all-- all these people working from home now?

JESPER ANDERSEN: Yeah. Thanks, Julie. I appreciate the question. Yeah, we just finished our fiscal year this past Friday. And yeah, it was a pretty incredible finish to the year. For the full year, we saw our top line grow by over 30%. That's not too shabby for a-- for a networking company traditionally. But networking and cyber security is very much top of mind for executives out there.

I think there are two reasons why we are being successful and seeing a demand right now. One is the network itself is obviously very, very critical. You cannot afford to have outages on your network when everyone everyone's working from home and when people often can't get into the data centers. And then, of course, there's a cyber security threat that we just talked about.

We sit at the intersection of that. And we've certainly seen a lot of interest from companies that want to secure their workers and need to secure them in a different way than what they did before when everyone was coming to the office. That requires a different cyber security architecture, and we're certainly one of the companies that are benefiting from that demand. And that's from existing customers and from net new clients as well.

JULIE HYMAN: Jesper, thanks so much for your time. Jesper Anderson is CEO of Infoblox.