Let’s take a moment to think about each of the services that we, as consumers, carry out using a variety of mobile applications. Whether we’re purchasing something online or managing our personal finances, we turn to digital solutions that we access on our mobile devices. The adoption of mobile services isn’t going away anytime soon — in fact, it’s growing at a steady rate. Mobile devices (and the apps on them) have become a central part of our lives, and that’s a fact.
When narrowing our focus to mobile apps that deal with payment services, we can consider the significant level of security that consumers rely on in order to use them. After all, nobody wants their most sensitive assets toyed with or abused on any level. At the same time, there are plenty of bad actors out there who are trying to do just that: Today, mobile banking users face a slew of cyber threats that revolve around financial fraud. So how is it that payment service providers can provide their users with reliable protection against these threats?
The Challenges Presented by Mobile Banking Apps
There are several hoops to jump through when maintaining and managing financial mobile applications. This is especially relevant when examining issues related to security and compliance.
Today, the EU’s PSD2 is the supreme framework for regulating digital payment services. Its overall objectives are to secure digital payments within European countries, maximize consumer protection, and to introduce ways through which banking organizations can adapt to new technologies.
While the role of this directive is extremely positive for securing digital banking services, PSD2 presents several challenges for payment service providers. For example:
- Article 2 of PSD2, which discusses the requirements of general authentication, states: “Payment service providers must take into account signs of malware infection in any sessions of the authentication procedure.”
- Article 9, which covers details related to independent elements, reads: “Payment service providers shall adopt security measures to ensure that the software or device has not been altered by the payer or by a third party, and where alterations have taken place, mechanisms to mitigate the consequences thereof.”
These directives, as well as those from other presiding organizations like the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), demonstrate just how crucial it is for modern payment service providers across the globe — and especially the CISOs and CIOs of these organizations — to pay close attention to their ongoing security compliance.
Visualizing Cyber Threats in a Mobile User Base
When payment service providers are creating a strategy for protecting their users, it’s important that they’re asking the right questions to adequately assess their needs in selecting the right security solution. Here are a handful of questions that should come to mind:
- How many users have rooted devices?
- How many users are using outdated operating systems?
- Which malware is attacking my user base?
- Is one device being used for multiple accounts?
- Where should I put more energy?
Once these questions have been addressed, payment service providers can form a more holistic view of the threats against which they need to protect their users.
How to Protect Customers on Mobile Devices
As a security provider, how do we go about combating each of these threats? Our very own mobile in-app protection delivers detailed information about issues present on a user’s device. Thanks to our robust alerting system, users will immediately learn about new malware or infected devices through the communication channels that they already use.