As the world migrates to a primarily app-based environment, app security has risen to become a top-ranking challenge for enterprise companies and developers alike. The threats on applications in client devices are fast increasing.
Online banking and fintech apps are some of the most vulnerable—startups and incumbent financial institutions alike are weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing app security versus building in-house technologies. If you’re in the early stages of deciding on your approach, our new eBook offers resources to guide fintechs and banks through the decision-making process:
Here are a few considerations when it comes to deciding between building in-house app security vs. outsourcing it to a trusted vendor.
Building In-House App Security
In the past, fintech and banking companies have generally favored building in-house app security for a number of reasons. Prior to the availability of outsourcing and cloud-based solutions, fintech and banking development teams were forced to build and customize their systems in-house. Even as app security outsourcing services became available, many companies continued to find on-premise solutions worthy. Here’s why:
Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Developing Security Technologies In-House
Full Control of Sensitive Data: Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of in-house app security is the ability for companies to remain in sole possession of highly regulated and sensitive data, rather than entrusting it to a third-party.
However, trusted security vendors often have methods to ensure that their customers remain in control of their own data. For example, a solution that offers on-premise tools enables organizations to maintain control over their application security so that no data inadvertently passes out of their environment.
Flexibility: If your own in-house team develops your application security technology, there is no need to negotiate with a vendor for customization. This offers full flexibility and app security that will truly meet every need.
While customization offers exactly what you want and need, this comes at a cost. If/when employees depart, customized systems may be compromised, inaccessible, or not fully understood.
Trained Staff: Chances are, the people who know the layout and operations of your data flows are those who created the architecture in the first place. Your team intrinsically understands your network and security needs.
However, many fintech and banking companies employ a mix of in-house personnel and outsourced security experts. Your team can focus on nuanced organization-specific issues, while an outsourced team covers a plethora of other threats.
The Challenges of Building In-House App Security Are Increasing
As technology advances, the challenges of building in-house application security technologies become greater. Fintech companies and banks are evaluating outsourced third-party and cloud-based solutions to meet critical app security requirements that impact their own usage as well as their customer bases.
The Benefits of Outsourcing App Security
Scalable: A security firm can assess and understand your needs, risks, and vulnerabilities and offer a scalable solution that is built to adapt to the changing needs of your business that includes more users, more power, higher network traffic, and changes in hardware
Cost-Effective: Save on the increasing costs of equipment, staff, and training
Tech-Ready: Third-party security companies stay current on new types of security breaches, and they are continually immersed in cyber security issues and how to manage them.
Guaranteed 24/7 Support: 24/7 monitoring and immediate response times are critical, especially since security breaches often happen outside normal business hours; you gain a 24-hour security operation center (SOC) to assist
Easy Implementation: After purchasing an outsourced cybersecurity solution, you acquire expert configuration and deployment to ensure effective system and network protection against cyber threats; a trusted third-party app security vendor relieves your team from complex security challenges in a zero-code implementation
Considerations for Your Approach
While the benefits in outsourcing app security generally outweigh the challenges, there are a few items to consider: 1) your company must be willing to partner for highly regulated and sensitive data in lieu of hiring an in-house team for round-the-clock security, 2) you must be comfortable with an outsourced app security team that will assess your environment, 3) outsourcing may require a subscription-based account 4) an expert app security system may involve a brief implementation period with some downtime.
Outsourcing app security is proven to be a cost-effective cybercrime solution that is essential for preparing and handling unexpected events that can cost companies money, impact customers, and lead to productivity issues. A one-stop outsourced app security solution provider will include a number of comprehensive tools and a strategic, phased approach.
The Value of a Proven Application Shielding Solution
In the process of selecting a credible third-party security provider like Verimatrix for your application shielding solution, it is important to understand what such a solution should look like. A credible company offers multiple layers of application security in a strategic approach that is comprised of the following:
Protects Data and Intellectual Property: Find a security organization that supports large-scale data-sensitive industries such as finance, healthcare, and banking to protect data and intellectual property from cyberattacks.
Meets Security and Compliance Requirements: Ensure the security company you select is versed in security and compliance requirements and offers automated, intelligent solutions for app secrets, cryptographic keys, and to protect your brand image.
Aligns with Your App Deployment Timeline: Locate an app security vendor that is equipped with a toolkit that ensures enterprise-level app security, empowers development and engineering teams to safeguard apps, and aligns with your app deployment timeline.
Ensure the app security solutions you select offer trusted capabilities that:
- Require Minimal Code Changes – Cyber security works out the door; not after a breach takes place
- Offer Code Obfuscation – To counteract static analysis of code using powerful control flow, arithmetic/symbol obfuscation, and string/section encryption
- Provide Environmental Checks – That allow you to trust your code is executing where you want it to; not where attackers want it to
- Include Anti-Tamper Technology – Creates a comprehensive “check network” in order to prevent protections from being lifted from your app
- Are Compatible with Mobile and IoT Platforms – Multi–platform support for iOS and Android, desktop and embedded Linux, Windows and macOS
- Provide Out-of-the-Box Support – For major development environments such as: Xcode, Android Studio, and Visual Studio
- Jailbreak and Root Detection – For automated detection of jailbroken and rooted phones to ensure code is executing as planned
- Prevents Reverse Engineering – So code is protected by automated checks that are designed to hinder attempts at reverse engineering
- Uses Intelligent Automated Tools – That eliminate human error in complex build processes to ensure a trustworthy app
Selecting a security provider for banking and financial apps requires a thorough exploration of a company. Ask yourself these important questions: Does the app security provider have a favorable track record? Does this vendor offer all of the complex layers of app security? Does the provider offer the post-implementation support my company requires? Does the provider know the intricate security requirements for banking and financial industry apps?
What To Expect With Verimatrix’s Application Shielding Solutions
While it’s important to weigh the benefits and challenges of each approach to building app security for fintech companies and banks, it is clear that outsourcing offers streamlined, expert solutions. Verimatrix’s mission is to help power the modern connected world with security made for people. That means we provide frictionless app security solutions that won’t disrupt your development roadmap or your users’ experiences.
With Verimatrix, your fintech company or bank can get the protection required for application security. If you’re ready to safeguard your application experiences, reach out to us today for a safer tomorrow.