Progress has been made, but relying on users to maintain data security remains an incorrect approach
A recent survey has revealed that over 25 per cent of British people do not check on the security measures in an app before downloading it, despite the fact that almost 30 per cent believe hackers are likely to use shopping apps such as Amazon or eBay to target their devices.
While this demonstrates an increased awareness of the risks attached to app usage, the fact that users still have not grasped the severity of the issues confirms that businesses cannot keep waiting for their users to wise up. This is according to app security specialist Promon.
The findings from this survey reflect those from a research project commissioned by Promon last year. When asking respondents about how capable they believe their bank is at keeping their account data secure from cyber attacks, 91 per cent said that their bank is somewhat capable, very capable or completely capable. This underlines an ongoing expectation amongst users that banks and other app providers should have the facilities and software in place to block intrusions from hackers.
Tom Lysemose Hansen, founder and CTO at Promon, said: “The fact that app users are becoming more aware of the cybersecurity challenges posed by app usage provides some cause for encouragement. However, time and time again we’ve seen that end users are slow on the uptake when it comes to realising just how severe the risk to their personal data can be.
“At the same time, our own research has shown that there is still an expectation amongst users that it is up to the bank or app provider to take responsibility for data security. It is crucial that businesses do not ignore this.”
Hansen believes that, while continuing to educate the general population about how to maintain good usage habits is important, taking the right steps to secure apps should be a much more pressing concern. One way of doing this is to prioritise the implementation of runtime application self-protection (RASP) when developing or updating an app.
Hansen added: “RASP software provides a method of defending apps from would-be hackers, which keeps the app protected regardless of whether a device owner is browsing and downloading irresponsibly.”
He concluded: “Creating a savvy, cybersecurity-aware population of mobile device users should by all means be a long-term goal. But hackers are a threat right now, so implementing watertight measures to keep them at bay in the short term is essential if businesses want to minimise the financial and reputational impact of a data breach.”