Mobile Banking Security: 7 Reasons Why The Apps You Use Are Not Safe

Mobile banking has been trending in the Indian banking ecosystem. Financial institutions have been promoting and heavily publicizing mobile banking over traditional banking. The strategy is simple, when customers install mobile banking app on their phones, they can easily process banking transactions such as checking their account balance, transferring money online, requesting bank statement and checkbooks or activities that would have otherwise been executed at the physical bank branches. Mobile banking security, however, has not been given due attention and has led to breaches of many banks and consumer accounts in the recent past all over the globe. 

Mobile banking has helped shed substantial burden on the tireless efforts of traditional banking operations. It also empowers users access to anytime, anywhere convenience banking. Judging by the way convenience has changed the way we now look at banking, mobile banking security isn't really a luxury that banks can any longer afford to ignore. It is the need of the hour and it is a need that must be handled right! Preferably by mobile security specialists rather than a generalist who are like jack of all trades but master of nothing.

Reason 1: Unmonitored security flaws

The majority of the app stores such as Google Appstore and Android Marketplace do not review mobile apps on the basis of security features. This makes it quite easy for notorious con developers to design and launch mobile apps that have a capacity to steal confidential data from user’s device.

Reason 2: Unsecured mobile devices

It is a rare phenomenon that consumers have installed a mobile antivirus on their phones while speculating a possible hack attack. An average smartphone or tablet user does not install any security software on their device which means that the security available is only a fraction of what is there on a laptop or a desktop. This factor makes smartphones vulnerable to security attacks.

Reason 3: Rising malware for Android

There has been a rise in detected malware for Android platforms by more than 400% over the past 12 months. This is alarming and further raises security concerns for Android app users.

Reason 4: Inter-app Accessibility

The technology which is in place to keep apps separate on a smartphone or tablet does not separate them into private sandboxes. This implies that one app can easily read confidential details stored in the other apps on the same device. Who knows, your gaming app may be reading your banking app data all the time!

Good Read: Everything You Need to Know About Open Banking Security

Reason 5: User negligence

The majority of the smartphone and tablet users do not even have the basic passcode activated on their devices. This security flaw can potentially give anyone a direct access to consumer bank account through the mobile banking app.

Reason 6: Free Wi-Fi trap

Have you ever paid attention to what lies behind a free hotspot or Wi-Fi network at an airport or café? You will be amazed to know that such free networks may be baits by potential hackers to intrude into your mobile’s network. The temptation of users to use these free networks exposes them to possible hacks.

Reason 7: Improper legal framework

There is no clear legislation so far that identifies various rights of users in case of a banking fraud through a mobile app. In case a fraud happens, users may have to go through a long legal battle with their bank's mobile banking security before they get appropriate refunds.

The worst part in many cases of fraud or cyber attacks is that neither the banks nor the consumers are aware of exploitation until it's too late. We've even seen over a billion dollars strategically stolen from 100 banks over the span of two years. So how has mobile banking security evolved over the years to deal with these attacks? 

Companies like Appknox have special expertise in mobile application security using an automated plus human approach to help businesses, especially in the Fintech space to ensure total mobile banking security. It is always a good idea to keep testing your app periodically to ensure that there are no unplugged loopholes which hackers could exploit, to literally tear down your business and all its customers. 

Appknox's fully automated security testing system helps you test your app periodically at very affordable prices ensuring your security is never compromised.

Mobile banking security is a complex landscape. Get to know your threats before they get to know your data.

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Published on Mar 30, 2017
Harshit Agarwal
Written by Harshit Agarwal
Harshit Agarwal is co-founder and CEO of Appknox, a mobile security suite that helps Enterprises and Financial institutions to automate mobile security. Over the last 6 years, Harshit has worked with over 300+ businesses ranging from top financial institutions to Fortune 500 companies to set up security practices helping organisations secure their mobile applications and speed up the time for security testing.


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