Mobile banking app security isn’t an option; it’s the bedrock of a banking app’s entire operation. Poor mobile banking app security can have a devastating impact on banks, both financially and reputationally. In addition to the direct costs of fraud and data breaches, banks can also face regulatory fines, loss of customer trust, and damage to their brand.
42% of banking customers don’t use mobile banking apps because they don’t trust the security of these apps. On the contrary, 46% of mobile banking app users are concerned about their accounts getting hacked. – Source
Banks can avoid these negative consequences by prioritizing security when designing and developing mobile banking applications. This includes implementing strong authentication measures, encrypting sensitive data, and conducting regular vulnerability checks. Banks should also educate their customers on safe mobile banking practices.
By prioritizing mobile banking app security, banks can protect their customers’ data, prevent fraud, and maintain their reputation as trusted financial institutions.
If you are worried about your mobile banking app security, then don’t be!
You are here, and this blog is about understanding security threats and how to secure mobile banking apps against such threats. So, let us first dive into the reasons why mobile banking apps are prone to cybercrimes.
What makes mobile banking apps vulnerable?
Mobile banking apps are vulnerable because they transmit sensitive data between the user’s device and the bank’s server. Hackers can intercept, manipulate, or steal the transmission for many reasons.
Design flaws in mobile banking apps can introduce significant vulnerabilities. Inadequate data encryption, for example, can compromise the security of data in transit, leaving it open to interception by malicious actors.
Moreover, failing to securely integrate third-party APIs into the app can lead to potential exploitation. Weak user authentication methods may also risk user accounts and sensitive data. Additionally, poorly designed user session management can result in session hijacking and unauthorized access.
Coding errors significantly impact mobile banking app vulnerabilities. For example, vulnerable code practices, like unpatched security flaws or improper error handling, create security weaknesses. Hence, hiring experienced banking app developers is crucial.
Neglected updates for the app’s codebase, libraries, and underlying components further leave known vulnerabilities unaddressed. Moreover, storing sensitive data on the user’s device without proper encryption or secure storage mechanisms exposes data to theft. And if you are using third-party libraries, missing regular updates can also open a loop for cyberattacks.
Inadequate security testing, such as penetration testing and code audits, leaves security gaps undiscovered, making the app susceptible to various threats.
Deployment issues pose risks as well. Outdated or insecure communication protocols expose data transmission to interception. Neglecting updates during deployment also leaves the app vulnerable to known issues.
Malicious code injection is a direct threat. Allowing code like SQL injection into the app creates exploitable vulnerabilities, emphasizing the need for rigorous code security practices.
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Potential threats to strengthen your mobile banking app security against
You see why mobile banking apps are easy targets for hackers and cybercriminals. Now, let us dive into the threats these mobile banking app security vulnerabilities create.
Phishing attacks are about tricking users into revealing sensitive data, including usernames and credit card details. For instance, a user might receive an email that seems to be from your bank requesting them to update login info. Clicking the link takes them to a counterfeit but convincing website controlled by cybercriminals. The user inputs their credentials, which are then seized by the criminals.
Phishing attacks are dangerous for banking apps because they allow attackers to steal customer data and gain unauthorized access to accounts. This can allow attackers to commit fraud, such as unauthorized withdrawals, purchases, and loan applications.
From May to August 2021, a 300% rise in phishing attacks on Chase Bank was observed. Researchers stated the XBALTI phishing kits were designed to mimic the Chase banking portal and harvest more than just email addresses and passwords.
Clickjacking attacks involve deceiving users into tapping on something they didn’t intend to tap on. Cybercriminals create a deceptive interface element, like a fake button or link, that appears legitimate but carries out an unintended action.
For example, a compromised interface within a mobile banking app might display a fraudulent button that seems like an authentic feature. However, tapping on it could trigger a malicious action, such as initiating an unwanted transaction or downloading malware onto the user’s device.
Man In The Middle Attacks
In a “Man-in-the-Middle” (MiTM) attack, a cybercriminal stealthily inserts themselves as an intermediary between a user and a bank’s app. By manipulating network settings, they intercept data exchanges, potentially acquiring sensitive details.
These attacks often exploit unsecured or malicious networks controlled by the attacker. On public Wi-Fi networks, they are particularly common due to the lack of security. Anyone can intercept or monitor web traffic, emphasizing the critical need for data security.
Nearly 58% of all posts on criminal forums and marketplaces contain banking data of others collected by MITM or other attack types.
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In 2022, experts in Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company, discovered nearly 200,000 new mobile banking Trojans, the highest ever reported in the last six years.
A “Banking Trojan” poses a serious risk within the banking industry. These are like covert spies infiltrating your system, often disguised as innocent software. They quietly monitor actions once they breach your defenses, particularly during mobile banking transactions. Their goal? To pilfer critical data like login credentials and financial information.
For example: A user receives an email with an attachment that appears to be a legitimate document. However, the attachment contains a Trojan horse that installs malware on the user’s device. The malware captures the user’s login credentials and sends them to cybercriminals.
How to secure a mobile banking app? 7 Best Practices for ensuring high Security of mobile banking apps
As a fintech app development company, we understand the critical importance of mobile banking app security. To ensure the safety of your users’ financial data, we recommend the following best practices:
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
MFA strengthens user authentication by requiring two or more verification forms. This can include something the user knows (password), something the user has (smartphone), and something the user is (fingerprint or facial recognition). MFA adds layers of security, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to accounts.
MFA defends against unauthorized access, as even if a password is compromised, an additional layer of verification is required. It safeguards accounts from brute force attacks and stolen passwords.
End-to-end encryption ensures that data is scrambled and can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. It protects sensitive information during transmission and when stored, preventing interception and data breaches.
It safeguards against eavesdropping during data transmission, man-in-the-middle attacks, and data theft when data is stored on servers or devices.
Regular Security Audits:
Regular security audits involve thorough assessments of your app’s security, including penetration testing and code reviews. These audits identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses, allowing for their mitigation.
Security audits help protect against various threats, including coding errors, known vulnerabilities, and potential exploits by hackers.
API security ensures that third-party APIs integrated into your app are rigorously assessed for vulnerabilities. This safeguards your app from potential exploitation through insecure integrations.
It protects against menaces associated with third-party API vulnerabilities and potential data breaches due to insecure integrations.
Behavioral analytics monitor user behavior patterns. Any deviations from these patterns can trigger alerts and rapid responses to unusual activities, helping to detect potential threats.
Behavioral analytics are particularly effective against insider threats, account takeovers, and fraudulent activities. They safeguard against unauthorized access and unusual user behavior.
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Secure Authorization and Authentication:
Secure authorization and authentication involve robust verification of users’ identities and limiting access based on their roles and permissions. It ensures that only authorized users can access specific data and functionalities.
Secure authorization and authentication protect against unauthorized access, identity theft, and session hijacking. They ensure that users are only granted access to the data and features they can use.
Enhance your Mobile Banking App Security with Kody Technolab!
As a leading banking app development company, we prioritize the security of your mobile banking app throughout its development and beyond. By integrating a secure development lifecycle (SDLC) into your project, we make sure that security is not an afterthought but an integral part of the entire development process.
With Kody Technolab, you’re not just getting a mobile banking app but a secure and trustworthy solution. We understand the importance of safeguarding your users’ financial data and are committed to providing you with the highest levels of security.
Incorporate a secure development lifecycle into your mobile banking app project and enhance security from the app’s inception. Your users’ security is our top priority.