Smartphone usage has enjoyed gargantuan levels of growth over the previous decade. This has led to the emergence of mobile applications and services. As they make the previously mundane and time-consuming tasks that can be completed with a few simple clicks. Due to this, there is also growing security concerns for the users.
This level of convenience is something to be revered but it is not without its disadvantages. Unfortunately, with these increased levels of convenience, there is also an increased risk of fraud for both enterprises and end-users.
While the key players within the industry have taken steps to counteract the impact through investment in mobile fraud prevention, the risk to end users is still something that does not always receive the consideration that it should.
This is especially the case when it comes to making payments, conducting online banking activities, and payments via mPOS applications. The following tips will help to ensure that you are prepared and eliminating the risks posed.
The Risks Posed by Mobile Applications
There was a report released by RSA Security in Q2 of 2018 that highlighted the fact that 39% of all mobile fraud carried out during the first quarter of that year was on mobile applications.
Other reports have also shown that 46% of all fraud-related to banking comes from mobile applications. This is due to fraudsters using malware, including banking trojans that have been specially designed to steal users’ credentials and then extract money from their bank accounts and make purchases.
A Concern for Android
The threat of trojans is particularly an issue for Android devices. As the apps that are available on the Google Play store tend to undergo a less strict vetting process. There is also the issue that users can easily change their device settings. So that it is possible to download applications from sources other than the Play Store. Therefore the threat posed by rogue applications is even higher.
While the risks are undeniably increased for those in the financial sector. The emergence and greater integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) into our everyday lives means that this is also a focus for fraudsters looking to exploit any weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It is therefore imperative that both enterprises and end-users are considering device security. And increasing investment in protecting mobile apps from the outset rather than as a mere afterthought.
Plan Security from the Start
Planning and implementing security from the outset of the development process is essential. And it should not be something that is treated as a second priority. Mobile applications differ from those on the web as they tend to depend on server mobile security, whereas those on a users’ phone require protection on the device itself.
Educate your software developers about the importance of implementing secure coding from the perspective of a hostile environment. This means that you can be certain that the application will be secure enough in case of any security breaches.
Spend Time Testing
It is estimated that as many as 75% of all mobile applications fail basic security testing, which, when combined with the security vulnerabilities in both Android and iOS, is a major cause for concern. Reduce these associated risks by ensuring that rigorous testing is implemented from the very start as each part of the production process to identify and remove any weaknesses.
This will assist in uncovering vulnerabilities that can actually be fixed relatively easily. However, if they are left to later in the lifecycle, they can actually become major security issues.
Educate your Users
Unfortunately, end-users are more often than not the cause for a weak link in relation to cybersecurity protection and are often the main source of failure.
Increases in spam and phishing emails have increased this further and these emails are also becoming increasingly sophisticated, meaning that more unsuspecting people are falling victim. However, fraudsters are also branching out to other sources of getting users’ details. Including social media scams and spoofing websites that are used to encourage users to input their personal details.
It is therefore unsurprising that most data breaches consist of people’s credentials being stolen and used to login to a personal account. This is the preferred method of those looking to bypass a company’s cybersecurity controls.
This means that it is imperative that employees are also fully educated in relation to cybersecurity and the risks that are posed. This includes detailing the dangers of jailbroken or rooted mobile devices. And applications that are downloaded from unverified sources, as they have the potential to be rogue apps that are created in order to steal personal and financial information.
Fraudsters have also been known to spend hours trawling through employees’ social media profiles. Just to find personal information that could enable them to recover passwords during a password recovery process. Users have to be aware that their work and personal lives are all interconnected via the internet. Therefore, mobile security is everyone’s need and its important to have it. And the range of different social media profiles, meaning that it is no longer possible to separate the two.