Today, many organizations are rushing to build mobile applications and mobile websites to gain a competitive advantage within their industry. The rate and speed at which applications are being pushed into the marketplace is phenomenal and is only increasing with the explosion of mobile devices. Over the next few weeks we’ll explore why traditional businesses have been forced to think outside of the box to leverage mobile devices in innovative and creative ways. Importantly, we’ll discuss the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D) to work and mobile application security.
Building traditional business applications versus building native mobile applications requires a change in a developer’s mindset. Developers need to take into account how best to provide information to their end-users in real-time in order for business decisions to be made on the move from anywhere in world without compromising security and access to the information.
While most organizations should be considering developing a mobile application, others are rushing to deliver applications quickly, on a limited budget with few internal resources, ultimately overlooking critical security considerations. Users are increasingly demanding secure mobile applications and understandably, organizations are hesitant because it usually means more time and money required to build secure mobile applications. However, there needs to be a happy medium to accommodate the very real security concerns of customers while still trying to gain a competitive advantage quickly for organizations.
To put mobile applications and data security in perspective – here are a few statistics that highlight the growing need for organizations to be mindful of security (statistics of this 2013 blog have been updated in 2014):
- Based on research by AT&T in 2011, 85% of US companies surveyed have experienced one or more data breaches (mobile and otherwise). Based on similar research by IBM in 2014, 100% of companies surveyed have experienced one or more data breaches
- Mobile Malware has increased by 97% from 2012 to 2013.
- 36% of mobile users do not have a password for their mobile device, and 30% of those who do, save their password on the device in notes apps.
- 3.1 million people were victims of smart phone theft in America in 2013, an increase of 194% to the reported thefts in 2012.
- The number of mobile devices used in the enterprise is expected to exceed 1 billion by 2018, of which almost 35% will be consumer owned (BYOD).
- 81% of US workers report at least one personal electronic device for business use.
From the statistics above, we can see that the security risks and challenges faced by organizations when building mobile applications are very real. Luckily most of this can be avoided and overcome with some simple, proactive steps that can be taken by your development team, IT department and your end-users.
Next week I will begin to examine these challenges and outline solutions that will enable you to develop and deploy secure mobile applications quickly while ensuring user privacy and access to your critical business information are adequately protected.