Is Your Mobile Security Strategy Naughty or Nice? Five Ways to Beef It Up This Holiday

11/25/2015
The new mobile economy will have a significant impact on consumers' shopping behavior this holiday season. Based on data from the Internet Retailer Mobile 500, more than a quarter of total 2015 holiday web sales could be mobile, with 91 percent of consumers intending to make purchases through a mobile app this holiday season and 54 percent planning to do half or more of their holiday shopping (purchases and/or browsing) via a mobile app.

So while retail brands are doing everything they can to capture the attention and dollars of today's mobile-minded shoppers this holiday season, including beefing up the consumer experience on their native mobile apps, have they thought enough about mobile security?

The truth is, more than half of all mobile apps have at least one major security flaw.  Moreover, shopping apps in particular have proven to be some of the "leakiest" apps – making sensitive customer data increasingly more vulnerable.  Just last year, 15 major retailers reported data breaches, which allowed unauthorized access to valuable consumer data.  Those breaches damaged brand reputations, strained customer relations and resulted in massive financial losses for the organizations affected.

The experts at NowSecure, a mobile security solutions provider that works with Fortune 500 brands to secure their mobile ecosystems, has provided a list of the top ways retail brands can bolster their mobile app security heading into the holiday shopping season – keeping their customers and their private data safe.  

Put mobile security at the top of the priority list.  Holiday sales are critical to a retailers' bottom line and as consumer behavior continues to shift to mobility, brands should be ready and willing to do anything to capture the attention and credit cards of today's mobile-minded shoppers.  However, even the latest and greatest in mobile app design, UX and technology is worthless if a devastating mobile security breach occurs and permanently damages the reputation of a retail brand.

Make sure your internal development team and/or your outside agency clearly understand and follow secure mobile app development best practices. 
Today's retail executives shouldn't just assume that their engineers and developers are always following security best practices.  When speed-to-market is too often a priority, secure mobile development can fall by the wayside.  It's everyone's job within an organization (including the management team) to make secure mobile app development is a priority.

Build mobile security testing into your app development lifecycle.
Secure mobile app development is an iterative process that requires commitment to security at every stage of development. Ongoing testing and security audits are critical to identifying potential vulnerabilities, fixing the problem and preventing risk to the organization and customers.

Ensure that your mobile security strategy addresses the unique challenges of the technology and is not just repurposing traditional computing security solutions.  Mobile is different and requires mobile-centric security solutions. It's critical to use security tools that specifically address the unique and evolving needs of mobile apps.  Using outdated and generic solutions geared towards Web security in an effort to save time and money will only leave a brand's mobile ecosystem at risk.

Understand the threat landscape and the latest known mobile security vulnerabilities.
Cyberattacks increase during the holiday shopping season, and with the increase of mobile traffic to native apps and mobile sites, cybercriminals will be aggressively exploiting mobile vulnerabilities.  Understanding internal and external threat landscapes will enable organizations to better prepare for and prevent a possible attack. 

To serve your shoppers this season, make sure mobile security moves from wish list to reality for a very happy holiday, indeed.


Andrew Hoog is co-founder and CEO of NowSecure, a mobile security solutions provider that works with Fortune 500 brands to secure their mobile ecosystems.
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