Mobile App Security Trends We Expect to See in 2019

The digital world has infinite possibilities and benefits that come along with it. As it progresses, people are quite content with giving away their preferences in exchange for a personalized experience that makes everything more convenient and simpler. The digital space continues to garner a lot of trust from users who blindly accept terms and conditions, who unknowingly download viruses, or open themselves up to hackers.

Mobile security has seen rampant upgrades over the years. However, malware and viruses have kept up the pace. Many phishing websites have the famous lock symbol in the URL bar fooling users into thinking its a secure site. Malicious apps have made their way into app stores, and many apps are highly vulnerable. Phishing attacks, so cleverly disguised, have been targeting big brands across the globe. Child hackers can access your information in a matter of seconds. It’s safe to say that your PII is nowhere close to safe.

Mobile threats are on the rise and lead analysts say investing in Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) is the way to go for businesses to safeguard themselves. Mobile threats are only expected to increase in 2019 with more sophisticated techniques that will run past common detectors. In order to help you get your defense up, let’s take a look at some of the mobile app security trends we believe you should watch out for in 2019.


Mobile App Security Trends To Watch Out For


Malware sites disguised with SSL certificates

Generally, people feel safe once they see a padlock in the address bar. But currently, hackers are able to get an SSL certification without difficulty. More and more malicious sites bear the padlock luring victims who take it as assurance that the site is safe. LetsEncrypt, a certificate issuer, offers SSL certificates with no payment information, no genuine PII is required - It’s just free! No longer is the padlock a reliable safety check.


5G or not, the Wi-Fi attack vector is here to stay

According to Wandera, 29% of mobile transactions take place over cellular data while 71% is over Wi-Fi. Rumors suggest that the entrance of 5G will kill Wi-Fi, however, not much change is expected, at least not anything significant. Most likely, Wi-Fi and 5G will coexist with 5G providing better connectivity outdoors, and wireless routers taking over indoors.

Although public Wi-Fi might take a hit as mobile users will have better connectivity with 5G on the go. It’s highly unlikely that the Wi-Fi attack vector will fade away any time soon.


Preying on Exploitable Human Weakness through Mobile Spear phishing campaigns

Back in the day, phishing was done through email blasts or dropping USB pen drives outside a company’s premises, with hopes that one of the employees falls prey to the con. But now, with so much of personal data available through social media, attackers can spearhead their campaign to deliver a more personalized attack that pulls at the heart’s strings, making the success rate much higher.

Though Apple and Google continue to boost security and take stringent measures, hackers poke at human weaknesses by using simple channels such as SMS or a social media app but with a customized trick. On one hand, cybersecurity in 2019 will grow stronger, but so will malicious attacks.


Expect cryptojacking to disengage from Crypto prices

In late 2017, amidst the Bitcoin boom, people realized a more effective way to mine crypto i.e., secretly borrow the computing power of many machines. The traditional use of cryptomining is greatly dependent on the cryptocurrency price. If the prices go down, cryptomining will no longer be profitable. Therefore, cryptojacking might change track to target other profitable avenues such as IoT devices or DDoS servers.


Mobile being a huge challenge for GDPR

There’s a tug-o-war in the digital space between privacy and convenience. As users want maximum convenience, companies collect data from devices to deliver a more personalized experience for the customer. But companies like Google and Facebook faced a lot of scrutiny in 2018 for using such data which was seen as a breach of privacy.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of the most significant changes to legislation surrounding data, came into effect in 2019. Mobile is a major collector of third-party information as it sifts through search history, web forms, locations, etc., to make the device more personalized. Mobile poses a challenge for GDPR in a unique way and all security breaches will be scrutinized much more than before. Companies will now have to ensure they can justify handling user data.

As much as we’d like to build a bubble and hope that everything’s okay, the reality is that the cyber world is volatile. It’s imperative to analyze past trends to help us predict trends for 2019, making it easier to know what to watch out for. As the mobile becomes more and more ingrained into society and businesses, security guards need to rise against the threats.

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Published on Feb 20, 2019
Hardeep Singh
Written by Hardeep Singh
Outreach Manager @appknox. #ProactiveAlways towards Social Media, Startups and Tech Evangelism.


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