Debunking myths about consumer expectations around mobile apps security

Appdome has released a global consumer survey which provides comprehensive insight into the complex and sophisticated security, malware and threat-defense expectations of mobile consumers in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

mobile apps security myths

The findings provide a rare glimpse into the voice of the consumer, debunking common myths about consumers’ mobile app security expectations with significant implications for CISOs, security teams and others charged with protecting mobile app users.

The survey queried a demographically diverse sample of more than 10,000 mobile consumers from multiple continents. The results offer CISOs key insights into which mobile app threats consumers fear most, which apps consumers expect will have the highest level of security, changes in consumer expectations for mobile app security as a result of COVID-19, and the rising strength of mobile app security expectations across every key demographic and geographic audience.

With this data, CISOs can accelerate their work to improve and deliver better mobile app security in Android and iOS apps and debunk several myths held by non-cybersecurity professionals.

Mobile apps security myths

Myth #1: Consumers are comfortable with “buyer beware” mobile app security strategies.
Reality: Consumers expect the publisher to provide a very high level of mobile app security and protection in the mobile app.

mobile apps security myths

  • 73% of all consumers would stop using a mobile app if it left them unprotected against attack
  • 74% of all consumers would stop using a mobile app if their app was breach or hacked
  • 46% of all consumers would tell their friends to stop using an app if their app was breach or hacked

Myth #2: Consumers are willing to give up security to get better features in the mobile app.
Reality: Most consumers value security and malware protection as much or more than they do features.

  • 38% of all consumers say they care most about security when using mobile apps
  • 37% of all consumers say they care most about features in mobile apps
  • 25% of all consumers care most about security and features, equally

Myth #3: Protecting against network and cloud breaches should be #1 priority.
Reality: Consumers care most about app-level, on-device threats and dismiss network-cloud threats.

  • 62% of all consumers fear someone hacking of their app, making it the No. 1 mobile app threat
  • 56% of all consumers fear malware threats on their device, making it the No. 2 mobile app threat
  • 32% of all consumers fear network-cloud threats, making it the No. 7 mobile app threat

Myth #4: Protecting user credentials and login on the backend is enough to satisfy consumers.
Reality: Consumers rank threats like malware and hacking above credentials loss from backend breaches.

  • 55%+ of Android and iOS users fear malware stealing data from my app as the No. 1 threat
  • 40% of consumers of all age groups fear lack of protection for credentials, making it the No. 4 threat

Myth #5: Mobile app security is only relevant if the mobile app is in a regulated industry.
Reality: Consumers demand the highest mobile app security from all kinds of apps, including banking and other apps, equally.

mobile apps security myths

  • 36% of all consumers expect mobile banking apps to the highest level of security
  • 33% of all consumers say that “all transaction apps” should have the highest level of security
  • 16% of all consumers say that ewallet/payment apps should have the highest level of security
  • 12% of all consumers say that retail and food delivery apps should have the highest level of security

“Globally, consumer expectations of mobile app security are deeply held, complex and sophisticated,” said Tom Tovar, CEO at Appdome.

“The voice of the consumer flips the script on the ‘security vs. features’ debate, making clear that mobile app security and malware protection are on par with other critical features in the mobile app experience and demanded by every consumer that downloads and uses a mobile app.”

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