Mobile apps are taking over our lives at a rampant pace. Multiple industries such as E-commerce, Fintech, Gaming, and more have all been impacted by smart applications. Banking is one such industry that has been transformed by them as they are ushering in a new era of innovation. This change began when banks decided to go more consumer-centric as they enabled customers to access key services anytime from anywhere through the use of mobile banking apps.
A majority of banks have already gone mobile whereas the remaining few are scheduled to make some keen investments in mobile banking apps. The introduction of mobile banking apps gives customers an array of services like easy creation of accounts, account balance inquiry, person to person payment, remote deposit capture, bill payments and much more.
While these services look glamorous from the outside, there are intricate components of the apps that go into making all this a success. These components when exploited by the wrong people could prove to be very expensive for both businesses and customers. It is essential that banks adopt a security first strategy to ensure the success of its customer-centric services.
Here are five security tips that banks can incorporate to get started on ensuring complete security for their mobile banking apps.
1. Stay compliant with industry standards:
Ensuring your mobile app is compliant with industry standards for mobile security will help you keep secure from the latest threats and vulnerabilities. It also acts as a document to show that you have taken precautionary measures in the right direction to help secure both you and your customers. Because the mobile app threat landscape is unpredictable, at the time of a data breach, should there be any, penalties and fines imposed by the government are a little more relaxed than they would usually be.
One such compliance document is The OWASP Top Ten. The OWASP Top Ten is one of the most popular and powerful awareness document for web and mobile application security. The OWASP Top Ten represents a broad consensus about what the most critical web application security flaws are. OWASP keeps updating itself overtime to ensure that it covers the latest threats and vulnerabilities as well as best practices to help businesses stay on top of the security curve.
PCI-DSS is also another compliance mandate for banks with cards and is administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.
2. Incorporate security into your development lifecycle:
They say prevention is better than cure. In the case of mobile app security, by incorporating security practices into your development lifecycle you’re not only being prepared for the inevitable but also reducing your costs drastically as compared to what you would otherwise be paying to neutralize threats that may occur at a later stage.
Yes, even during development, there is a need for security experts to ensure that there are no loopholes in your app. However, there are a few great mobile app security testing tools out there that have continuous integration technology which lets you test your app any number of times during development. This is to ensure that end-to-end basic security testing is covered before launching onto App stores.
3. Use automated mobile app security testing:
The mobile app security landscape changes very frequently. New threats arise each day. When there are new parameters of security put up, there is always someone looking for a way around them.
Due to the constantly evolving nature of threats, it is essential that routine testing cycles be carried out to ensure your app’s security is up to date with the latest threats. Using an automated system helps eliminate the need for manual efforts and additional resources that could prove to be time consuming and expensive.
Apart from being great at helping you get routine assessments done with lesser efforts, automated mobile app security testing also has the added perk of helping you beat the competition with faster time to market.
4. Get regular manual assessments done:
Although automation helps reduce the efforts for security testing substantially, nothing really beats the human mind. Manual application security testing helps attain a deeper level of testing for your app that can only be bypassed by human intelligence.
Combine manual assessments with an automated assessment to get maximum security coverage for your mobile banking apps. With that being said, it is important to get manual testing done only by security researchers who have vast experience with testing mobile applications. There are many components of mobile app testing which are similar to web testing but there are also a lot of other components that are completely different and need dedicated mobile app security expertise.
5. Strategize with mobile app security experts:
Mobile app security is a very niche space. There may be many security experts out there who claim to know all about security. The truth, however, is that cybersecurity, in general, is a vast area of unexplored territory. Ensure you speak with experts specifically in the area of mobile app security testing to ensure that your mobile banking apps are completely secured.
Get the mobile app security experts to give you a complete and comprehensive plan for incorporating security into your business strategy. It helps to get a security plan right from development to production and even during maintenance.
If you have anything to do with mobile banking apps or are planning on introducing one, these five security tips can help you get started on ensuring both you and your customers are completely secured. However, remember that there is a lot more to mobile banking security than just the above mentioned. Never stop searching, updating or securing constantly.