Staying ahead of the game: Need for code protection in financial applications hero graphic

Staying ahead of the game: Need for code protection in financial applications

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By Byron Rashed

The increase in demand for mobile applications has skyrocketed in recent years. The “on the go” need for users to access information and services is common in today’s digital world. As organizations rely more and more on mobile applications to conduct business, there are certain security measures that must be adopted to keep customer data and the application safe from cybercriminals. Most cybercrimes focus on the theft of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and other valuable data that can be easily and fully monetized by exploiting, selling or trading caches of stolen data in the underground economy for huge profits. Many cybercriminals are part of highly sophisticated cyber gangs who target financial applications where users perform almost all of their banking and financial business virtually, making them high-value targets.

Financial applications have streamlined the services of banking, credit usage and monitoring, transfer of funds, managing accounts, buying and selling stocks, and almost any financial transaction for individuals and organizations. As cybercrime has evolved, hackers have shifted their interests from causing network disruption to monetization. As more and more financial institutions rely on mobile applications to greatly reduce cost, eliminate time and resource consuming tasks, and truly empower the user to manage their finances more efficiently creating overall benefits for the institution and its customers. However, it has also created security risks and concerns. Over 50% of customers will be using their institution’s financial applications by the end of the decade, and many of these applications greatly lack the needed level of security or have no security measures at all within the application making them highly susceptible to attack.

Cybercriminals access mobile applications in several ways using various attack vectors:

  • Reverse engineering of the application
  • Tampering
  • Stealing sensitive information
  • Rootkits and malware
  • Exploiting vulnerabilities

The fact of the matter is that a huge number of mobile applications have been hacked or found to be compromised (Android and iOS). Using code protection to secure financial applications enables institutions to deliver convenience and security to their customers. This mitigates risk, avoids costly fines, and loss of reputation, all of which would occur in any breach. The benefits of adding protection to mobile applications far outweigh the cost and risk. For financial institutions this is critical since millions, even billions of dollars could be at stake.

Not limited to financial institutions, a side benefit of code protection is decreasing the risk of inherent vulnerabilities. Every application has bugs which can make the application vulnerable to a successful attack. When code protection is applied, much of the code is obfuscated, including bugs – making the application harder to exploit. Using code protection is a cost-effective and proven method of protecting applications while maintaining full functionality.

Read our latest whitepaper on ‘Taking steps to Protect Financial Mobile Applications’ to find out how whiteCryption’s Application Shielding Portfolio provides insights and solutions that prevent hackers from reverse engineering and tampering with code.

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