In popular verticals such as retail, the teams that manage a company’s website and mobile app often lack a close knit relationship, let alone the tools needed to protect their related, yet disperate online assets. Website / online shopping and mobile app usage are absolutely critical to many retailers. In fact, their website(s) and mobile app(s) ARE their actual business and they would otherwise not exist without them. 

So, why haven’t website and mobile app security merged more than they have?  After all, differences in cybersecurity approaches for mobile apps and websites can inhibit coordination and cooperation on joint security approaches due to various factors:

  • Different talent requirements / expertise – Mobile app development often requires expertise in programming languages/frameworks such as Swift (for iOS) or Xamarin (for Android). Web development, on the other hand, may rely on languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The skills needed to secure these different technologies vary significantly. Cybersecurity team members focusing on mobile app security obviously need to understand mobile operating systems, while those in web security need to focus on web application vulnerabilities. These divergent skill sets can create silos in expertise and hinder cooperation.

  • Profound differences in revenue – A business that generates most of its revenue from a mobile app through in-app purchases and subscription may have a website that relies on advertising revenue instead. The mobile app is seen as the primary revenue driver, leading to a heavier investment in its security. The perception of one platform being more valuable can lead to differing levels of security investment and priorities.

  • Leadership under different IT teams – In a large business, the mobile app is developed and maintained by the mobile app development team, while the website is managed by the marketing/web development team. Each team often operates independently with separate leadership and objectives. This separation can lead to a lack of coordination in security strategies, as each team may prioritize its platform over the other.

  • Development-related differences – Mobile app development might involve coding in native languages (e.g., Flutter, Kotlin), while web development relies on web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These technical disparities influence the types of security vulnerabilities and threats that each platform faces. For instance, mobile apps are more susceptible to device-specific issues, while websites may be more exposed to browser-related vulnerabilities. These differences necessitate distinct security measures and strategies for each platform.

To mitigate these challenges, businesses should adopt a holistic approach to security that encompasses both mobile apps and websites. This approach may involve cross-training, establishing unified security standards, conducting thorough risk assessments, and ensuring open communication and collaboration between teams responsible for these platforms. By doing so, organizations can bridge the gap and coordinate their efforts for a more effective cybersecurity strategy.

How can a business work toward implementing the above mentioned synergies and streamline security processes that promote cohesion between mobile app and website protections? What if a specialized provider of mobile app security services expanded its horizons to cater to website developers, offering a comprehensive security monitoring and services for both online assets? This approach addresses a common issue prevalent in the retail sector, where giants and startups alike are vulnerable to security threats in their physical stores as well as on their website and mobile app. That’s a three-front defense – making it that much more appealing to turn to a vendor that address threats that are unique to each type of asset.

The retail industry’s reliance on tech continues to surge, and the lines between physical stores and digital marketplaces have blurred. An order might start in a consumer’s living room and end in the retailer’s parking lot “curbside pickup” section. This fusion requires a more holistic approach to security.

Often, retail companies struggle to maintain robust security measures for both their websites and mobile apps, leaving them exposed to a myriad of threats. The need for a consistent and prioritized level of cybersecurity across these platforms is paramount – and reducing the number of vendors, even by as little as one, can often aid in that cause.

Most retailers have separate teams managing websites and apps. This division can lead to disjointed security decision-making, leaving some potentially significant vulnerabilities unchecked. However, choosing a single security vendor for certain security tools within each can help bridge this gap and promote better synergy in the way security is approached and maintained, which can be key to ensuring a far more robust security posture.

Time saved is time better spent

Efficiency is the name of the game, as it promotes more consistent monitoring and remediations while also boosting talent retention in many cases. Having the same vendor for both one’s mobile app and website is akin to using Ring and Blink, both owned by Amazon, for one’s home security services instead of separate providers entirely. It’s like having a single maintenance team for conveyor systems and self-checkout machines in a store, which not only increases efficiency but can also result in substantial cost savings. The same individual can manage both, eliminating the need for multiple maintenance trips and teams.

In the digital realm, where every second counts, this cohesiveness is vital for maximizing uptimes for all online assets, especially in the competitive retail sector where an hour of downtime is an intolerable eternity. For retail giants, a breach or hack could lead to millions of dollars in losses and significant related damages.

Another step toward needed internal collaboration

There are numerous advantages for mobile app’s security team and website’s security team collaborating to secure digital storefronts. Especially if they work with a shared vendor who can often better understand the unique needs and challenges of both platforms (and implementation team objectives, concerns, and the like). Collaborative security decisions, improvements and forward-thinking plans can yield wide-ranging benefits.

The choice of a single security vendor (like Verimartix) for both mobile apps and websites is a decision that goes beyond convenience – it’s about reimagining security approaches and efficiency. Just as cohesive security is essential for retailers, cohesion in decision-making and strategy can be the game-changer that sets a business apart, let alone save its reputation. When it comes to safeguarding a company’s digital presence, a single vendor approach for more and more aspects of security can lead to a better protected and prosperous future for retail.