By Nish Bhalla
It’s hard to think of a company, retail or otherwise, that isn’t developing a mobile app these days — but the vast majority of apps are riddled with security flaws that could jeopardize the end-user and expose the company to high costs and embarrassment.
In a recent study with HP, we found that 77% of mobile apps are guilty of information leakage, 26% fail to encrypt properly and 33% are vulnerable to a common hack attack.
The problem generally stems from the fact that many developers aren’t properly trained in security — and even those that are often put design issues ahead of security considerations. It’s common for developers to build a mobile app first, then try to “sprinkle” in security at the end. This leaves the app severely vulnerable to information leakage, unauthorized users and hack attacks. It’s more difficult — and a lot more expensive — to fix a security problem after the fact. Once an app is live, the typical remediation cost ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per flaw.
It’s important for retail executives to have a solid understanding of common mobile app security flaws and be able to ask the right questions from their developers. Security decisions can’t be left to the developers alone; they have to come from the top.
With that in mind, here are the six most common mobile app security mistakes that retail executives need to watch out for:
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