App developers show unhealthy attitudes to security

As major security vulnerabilities in a number of popular apps are identified, are we placing too much trust in app designers without demanding transparency?

Mobile-app security demands greater scrutiny.

When analysing more than 120 of the most popular smartphone health and finance apps, 90 per cent display major security vulnerabilities. 

In their fifth annual State of Application Security Report, app-security company Arxan present unpleasant figures about the trust placed in app developers versus how much consumers' security and privacy is valued in return.

As these reports become more common with every year, developers need to place greater importance on app security, and make their customers aware of the potential threat.

Over 80 per cent of consumers feel mobile apps are secure, yet 50 per cent of developers allocate no budget to security testing.

A diet of greed and lack of security exercises

Of the health apps approved by the UK's National Health Service (NHS), 80 per cent were vulnerable to at least two critical security vulnerabilities, while 84 per cent of apps approved by the United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were as well. Furthermore, a shocking 98 per cent of the apps had no binary code protection - opening the door to reverse engineering - and 83 per cent displayed poor transport layer security.

In contrast to this, 83 per cent of consumers feel their mobile apps are adequately secure, and nearly 60 per cent feel everything possible is being done to protect them. However, 50 per cent of organisations allocate no part of their budget towards mobile security, and 48 per cent believe their app will likely be hacked within six months. 

This doesn't point to a society of demanding and impatient customers, but developers who don't value the importance of customer privacy and instead want hackers to point out vulnerabilities at their expense. 

How can you protect your personal information?

With more than 165,000 health apps currently available, the Arxan report is a sobering reminder about how much we, and the majority of app developers, take our privacy for granted.

Are the apps you use every day really that secure? Are the apps you use every day really that secure?

Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your information remains secure:

  1. No matter how tempting it may be, don't jailbreak your phone. Allowing for root access to your smartphone's OS enables unauthorised apps to do exactly the same, with nobody to blame but yourself. 
  2. Only download apps from trusted distributors, such as the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android. 
  3. Research the app before you download and install. generic drug center Transparency is key; if the app developer is vague about security, it likely doesn't exist.

SafeSwiss offers the ultimate level of data privacy, with military-grade encryption applied to all voice calls, text chats and digital data transfers. If you need mobile security you can trust, choose SafeSwiss.