As research today shows the Coronavirus can survive on paper-based surfaces for up to 24hrs, fear of handling cash is tangible amongst consumers due to Coronavirus, and until the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department issue an official statement about the safety of paper currency, many consumers are moving towards mobile payment platforms. But attackers are catching on and will be looking to exploit security vulnerabilities of this potential increased adoption of mobile payment apps.
Americans\’ adoption of mobile payments has always lagged behind other countries, but with the CDC\’s recent recommendation that commercial establishments limit the handling of cash, we expect to see an uptick in the adoption of mobile payments applications in the U.S. over the course of the next few weeks. While I think the adoption of mobile payments is progress, I wish it were under different circumstances.
Attackers will be looking to exploit this potential increased adoption of mobile payment apps, and now is the time for banks and payment app developers to ensure the security of these apps by requiring strong authentication and additional layers of security such as in-app protection or app shielding to dynamically protect against malware targeting mobile users. This is especially important for insecure and out-of-date mobile devices in particular.
Consumers themselves should first check and confirm, if possible, that their mobile devices are up to date with security patches. Secondly, consumers should only download payment apps and the like from the official app stores. Finally, consumers should always read the reviews of any of these apps that they plan to use to move money around to ensure they are legitimate.