We are living in a mobile-first world, and the explosion of mobile applications is nothing short of remarkable. We’re talking about 6-7 million apps on the Google Play and Apple App stores alone. And the crazy thing is, there are numerous other marketplaces where apps can be downloaded — from the Amazon Appstore, to the Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy Stores, to the Tencent MyApp, Baidu Mobile Assistant, Aptoide, Huawei AppGallery, Xiaomi’s Mi App Store, and many more.

Here’s the thing; millions of organizations are now in the app business, whether they admit it or not. So many companies are using their apps to compete and win new customers. And what’s driving this boom? The accelerated growth in the number of devices. By the end of 2023, it is estimated there will be three times more connected devices than people.1

Every day, we’re moving away from isolated data, communication, and processes and into a connected world where everything is intertwined. And with this connectivity comes great opportunity, but also new risks. The weak link in the security chain is often the remote client – think mobile phones, laptops, and other devices that have access to sensitive data or can initiate valuable actions.

Now, conventional network security addresses the network infrastructure, traffic, protocols, IP addresses, and services. Don’t be fooled by building a fancy firewall to protect your server infrastructure. The attacker will always take the path of least resistance. And that means protecting the client software is crucial. The challenge is that these applications are running on open devices, which can’t be expected to provide complete security.

Applications are often allowed to bypass the perimeter. A compromised device can erroneously be whitelisted to talk to the application server.

How a compromised device can go unnoticed

A diagram shows how conventional security has a blindspot.

Imagine a rock concert ticket. It may look authentic, but it’s fake. Now, imagine that fake ticket being used to gain access to the rock concert. That’s exactly what happens in a mobile app attack from a compromised device. The attacker is using a legitimate-looking app to gain access to sensitive data and disrupt your business. And traditional security measures can’t detect it. We call these blind spots, and it’s crucial that these be addressed.

Mobile devices process all types of personal data, from location data to money transfers, from login data to business secrets. And these mobile apps are connected to a company’s critical infrastructure. Modern attacks can bypass the preventive layer, which means that threat data and the monitoring of a compromise are crucial. Predicting threats, detecting anomalies, and responding to malicious events are becoming standard components of security architecture. So, security data is in focus. And from a collected data perspective, are we monitoring the widening attack surface from cloud to consumer applications? Most mobile-first organizations are not doing this.

The solution is multi-fold. We assemble applications that can protect themselves with cybersecurity built into the CI/CD process. We use tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow the applications to secure themselves, regardless of the device environment. We monitor every device that is connected to the enterprise via the app. And we use AI/ML plus human data scientists to predict, defend and respond. That’s how we win the fight against cyberattacks.

The bottom line is this: consumer trust in mobile applications brings great responsibility. Companies trust mobile applications to process company-critical data. The risk presented by unmanaged devices is getting harder to manage. Connected consumer applications are bringing new types of threats to a company’s IT infrastructure. And lack of preventative tools and real-time monitoring prevents us from achieving a holistic cybersecurity management. It’s time to step up our game, because the stakes are higher than ever before.

See how we can help protect your business:

• Mobile applications and APIs 
• Video content
• Digital payments