Nowadays, technological advances are so fast that we barely have time to keep up. We’re so accustomed to this reality that the number of new releases that come out every day isn’t much of a surprise or is much of an interest to us.
However, the constant launch of new products, platforms and concepts create a series of possibilities and needs that have never existed before. Back in the day, who ever thought we would be using mobile devices to access the Internet? Not to mention the cell phones themselves, which have gone from basic calling devices to small information centers that fit in your pocket.
All companies, services, hobbies, etc. have gone mobile. We trust them with all of our data and personal information. Have you ever wondered if these mobile apps are safe and protected from malicious hackers? Let the numbers speak:
- 100% of the top 100 paid apps on the Google Android platform have been hacked
- 56% of the top 100 paid apps for Apple iOS have been hacked
- 73% of popular free apps on Android have been hacked
- 53% of popular free apps on Apple iOS have been hacked
Mobile Malware Continues to Affect Business
The growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs and the mobile internet usage of corporate networks, services and assets has continued to affect the impact of threats on businesses.
The infections are usually triggered by mobile internet users who download an application – often from a malicious third-party application store– and installing these applications on devices that connect to corporate networks and deal with company files. Basically, when you download an app it can pretend to be a media player or an optimization tool for your phone to steal information from you or your company. Most people only use one phone for personal and business matters.
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4 ways to protect mobile apps
Therefore, in order to reduce business exposure associated with enterprise mobility we must create, develop and execute secure mobile applications. Let’s explore some ways to do it.
1. Consider the most important factors to secure: protected mobile app development
When a system is considered safe, the customer is more likely to use it, since he knows that he can count on the confidentiality of his data.
The lack of security can lead to several complications that might make the system unfeasible for commercial use, generating financial losses, lawsuits that will be a stain on the company’s reputation.
Companies should look for tools to help their app developers detect and close security vulnerabilities. Points to consider to protect a mobile app are:
- Injection of commands
- Cross-site scripting
- Safe communication
- Encrypted information
- Error messages
2. Detect compromised and vulnerable run-time environments
The protection of an application is also based on the security of the device. Devices with jailbreak, rooted or the presence of dishonest applications may pose a runtime risk for some enterprise applications.
Companies can measure the security of devices by checking if the mobile toolbox is intact, removing rooting or jailbreaking, restricting the permissions of mobile applications –which are granted by the user–, you will restrict access to basic malware services and malicious applications that might perform fraudulent activities.
3. Prevent data theft and leakage
Mobile applications access enterprise data or documents stored on the device, therefore data loss increases if the device is lost or when data is shared with non-enterprise applications.
When you protect a mobile, you also have to protect the sensitive data and internal security policies. It is necessary to keep business systems safe, maintaining a secure network through protections such as Anti-Malware, Firewalls, Network and Host IPS, email and web gateways.
It is very important to remember that despite the most advanced protection and prevention tools against leakage or loss of data, the users will always need to be educated. After all, one of the most effective ways to intrude into a network is by “social engineering”, which is when the malicious person deceives or exploits the trust of people at the company to gain access to the systems or sensitive information.
4. Control the execution of high-risk mobile transactions
When customers need access to products and services through the mobile platform and employees require the use of their personal devices to access corporate applications anywhere, anytime, mobile security solutions must be strengthened. Protection at the device level is no longer sufficient to protect transactions as one must also preserve the privacy of consumers and employees.
Organizations must adapt a transaction execution approach that restricts policy-based client functionalities that consider mobile risk factors such as device security attributes, user location, and network connection security, among others. In this way, the company will have flexible and accurate control, will maintain user privacy and reduce other liability risks.
In the age of BYOD, the challenges of the IT security industry include safeguarding the privacy of users while providing state of the art features that are used by millions on a daily basis.
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