400 iOS and Android apps analyzed for privacy and security risks

A new report analyzes the behaviors of the top 400 iOS and Android apps to assess the state of mobile app security and identify trends impacting consumers and enterprises with the growth of the BYOD and Mobile First movements.

Appthority analyzed the most recent list of the top 400 apps provided by Apple and Google, and the company compared the findings to data from the Appthority Summer 2013 report to provide broader insight into the evolution of the app economy.

“Mobile apps brings both enormous opportunity and enormous risk to enterprises and their employees,” said Domingo Guerra, president and co-founder, Appthority. “Companies know they must empower their workforce to leverage mobility while also protecting sensitive and valuable corporate data. Since BYOD quickly turned into Bring Your Own Apps, it is essential for IT and security administrators to have full visibility and control over mobile apps that present potential security and privacy risks.”

95% of the top 200 free iOS and Android apps exhibit at least one risky behavior:

  • 70% allow location tracking
  • 69% allow access to social networks
  • 56% identify users
  • 53% are integrated with ad networks
  • 51% allow in-app purchasing
  • 31% enable address books and contact lists to be read.

With more than a million apps in the Apple App Store and also in Google Play, app titles listed in the top 100 are constantly changing. In fact, according to Appthority’s research 57% of the top free iOS apps fall off the top 100 list every six months.

Beyond changing app titles, app versions are also regularly updated creating a net new app almost every month. For this reason, analysis of the top 100 apps at any given point in time quickly becomes outdated.

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