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A Thing A Bigger Thing

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Mobile apps vulnerable to breaches, experts warn

A s Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday draw near, security analysts are warning merchants and consumers to protect personal information and payment card data online, in stores and in mobile apps throughout the holiday season.

Rich Scott, chief commercial officer at EZShield and IdentityForce, said payments industry stakeholders need to rethink security in an increasingly mobile-first world. "People tend to feel safer when transacting on their mobile device," he stated. "But mobile devices can be a gateway to identity theft and corporate data breaches, and apps are susceptible to malware, spyware and privacy exposure."

Scott said EZShield launched a new solution, Mobile Defense Suite, to protect consumers and merchants from potential security incidents and data breaches. The solution includes mobile app monitoring, attack control and attack recovery. These dynamic, real-time solutions are more effective than vulnerability management, anomaly detection and intrusion prevention, he said.

Shield, harden mobile apps

Sam Bakken, senior product marketing manager at OneSpan recommends shielding mobile applications to protect them from hackers and malicious exploits. "App shielding forms a protective barrier around the app, making it a secure island in potentially hostile seas," he said.

While numerous app shielding solutions are available in the marketplace, Bakken cited three key capabilities in the most effective applications:

Bakker said a number of approaches to app shielding are available, including dashboards with app shielding features and mobile app SDKs. "In terms of evaluating the effectiveness of app shielding, it's best to approach your app as an attacker would," he said. "Simulate attacks on your app in a test environment with app shielding applied. This will help you gain visibility into the mobile environments in which your app is executing."

Mobile app security checklist

Will LaSala, director of security solutions and security evangelist at OneSpan, recommends implementing the following security measures during the holidays and throughout the year:

Retargeting attacks are sophisticated and can ruin a company's image and brand, LaSala noted. "[These are] advanced attacks and not every solution out there can address them without major re-architecting," he said. "As an app developer and publisher, it's important to look for app shielding technology that makes it easy to incorporate advanced mobile app security into an app without much development effort."

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