Increasing security on mobile applications will extend adoption

Many of today’s mobile applications have limited functionality from a lack of overall security, according to a study by Entrust. And for mobile applications that feature transaction-based capabilities, the requirement for security is even greater, highlighting a key area of concern for deploying organizations.

Regardless of industry, organizations, retailers and financial institutions are using dedicated mobile applications. Entrust’s survey suggests that more and more organizations are developing or considering the use of mobile applications if security, cost and ease-of-use requirements can be properly balanced.

Application security remains a top concern, regardless of whether or not the organization had deployed any transactional mobile applications in the past. Specifically, more than 50 percent of organizations that had not deployed such applications ranked it as one of their top three concerns, and more than 40 percent of those that had deployed these applications continued to rank it as a key concern.

From an adoption standpoint, the survey discovered that nearly 80 percent of organizations offer online transactions via their Web site. Many of these organizations, however, do not yet offer this same capability to mobile users. Those that do, only 31 percent of the online services and capabilities are available via the mobile platform.

Innovative security vendors may also offer financial institutions a dedicated mobile security application that allows the user to confirm details from online transactions out-of-band and generate a corresponding one-time passcode (OTP). This approach helps alleviate one of the weakest online authentication practices in use today (username and password) and addresses one of the biggest threats: man-in-the-browser attacks.

Drilling deeper, specific security-related concerns were top of mind for organizations. These ranged from data encryption and protection, authentication, and the weakness of mobile device security features, to more general concerns such as the disregard for security issues by users.