More and more consumers leverage mobile devices to conduct financial transactions including mobile banking, mobile
P2P transactions, digital wallet transactions, remote deposit, mCommerce, balance transfers and payments. Gartner® forecasts the volume of mobile payment transactions worldwide to be at $235 billion this year and grow to $721 billion by 2017. The ever-increasing rate of adoption for mobile financial transactions makes digital banking and payment protection more of a necessity than ever.
Key industry players in the financial services ecosystem – including financial institutions, retailers, operators, merchants and cards issuers – are re-defining the financial services landscape in the form of new products and services.
To keep pace with innovation, mobile app developers must deploy critical code – such as jailbreak/route detection, security certificates, sensitive intellectual property, etc. – into “the wild,” to reside in distributed and untrustworthy environments without application protection for digital banking or payment apps.
New Threat Vectors Emerge With Mobile Computing
Hackers can then easily leverage available third party tools to completely disable and compromise mobile app integrity to gain unauthorized access to source code, then tamper with the app to enable fraud, advanced malware attacks, or stealing intellectual property or privileged data, all of which results in revenue and brand losses for the financial institution. The lack of any kind of protection for digital payments also weakens consumer trust in those financial institutions.
Although code review and other traditional application security processes help limit exposure posed by vulnerabilities, financial apps such as mobile payment or banking apps are still very easily abused via reverse-engineering or tampering attacks. Worse, open-source platforms, such as Android, whose code is fully exposed, are at greater risk. Regardless of platform, jail-broken mobile devices can result in hackers gaining root access to mobile applications in order to analyze security logic, insert malware, trojanize apps, subvert authentication or access controls or steal intellectual property, such as algorithms or keys.