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Mobile App Security - Needed Now More than Ever (Part 1 in a series title “Mobile App Security Should be a Top Priority”)

November 15, 2012

CATEGORIES: Mobile Quality

secureAppMost consumers don’t think about whether or not their apps on their mobile device are secure or not because they don’t think our smartphones and tablets can be hacked or broken into, unlike our laptops or desktops. Or it’s because we haven’t seen a rise in malware or targeted attacks on smart devices by cyber criminals. Well, all that is about to change….

Recently, an article from the San Diego Union Tribune written by Mike Freeman illuminated the recent rise in mobile security problems as evidenced by a warning the FBI issued regarding threats to mobile platforms. The article goes on to note that the advent of BYOD – and, now, BYOA – coupled with the growing number of smartphone users, now provides cyber criminals more of a reason to target mobile platforms.

According to the report by the FBI, a whopping 25% of employed U.S. adults say they have been a victim of malware or hacking on their personal electronic device.

Though the number of hackers targeting mobile devices is small, the attacks are targeted and often seem based in research about a user’s interests. To date, the only attacks have occurred to the more open Android platform since Apple’s application approval process is much more tightly controlled. Google’s mobile platform allows consumers to download applications from third-party sources so hackers realize they can take advantage of the less secure application library and trick consumers into downloading malware and other attacks via text message or email.

CTIA, for instance, is beginning to take a stand against mobile security threats. Other forms of protection, such as wiping data from lost devices, exist to combat threats to individuals’ mobile data. But just as hackers and cyber criminals continue to evolve their malware and phishing schemes along with computer security measures, they will surely continue to try and find ways to attack mobile devices.  Though the threat to smartphone and tablet security seems small, which it even exists in the first place should tell the mobile app community that security needs to be a top priority.

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