Gaps in the apps: Why the traditional security lifecycle no longer works

April 2012
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Gaps in the Apps: Why the Traditional Security Lifecycle No Longer Works

At a glance

Banks' security measures haven't kept pace with the growth of mobile banking. How can banks stay in the app game while guarding against financial and reputational risk?

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The rise of mobile payments and the rapid growth of new non-bank competitors has provided consumers with an abundance of banking alternatives and led banks into a race to develop mobile banking applications. One institution’s mobile innovation pressures other institutions to rush out and develop a similar functionality, circumventing security safeguards in the process.

Many banks have failed to keep pace with the design and implementation of sound security measures, leaving them vulnerable to a security breaches that will prompt customers to switch financial institutions and cause reputational damage. In addition, financial services institutions are prime targets for criminals with their global operating models, data flowing to third-party service providers, and big payoffs from stolen data. As the impact from identity theft and mobile-application security breaches becomes ever more frightening for consumers, we anticipate that regulators’ focus on data protection will intensify in the coming years.

Leading financial institutions are taking steps to avoid these situations, such as:

  • Integrating security into their application development process
  • Implementing secure technologies to protect employees’ mobile devices
  • Installing solutions to enhance the security of customer-focused apps such as online banking, mobile banking, and mobile payments.

Various financial services institutions have experienced difficulty maintaining the appropriate level of security to protect against breaches. IT organizations at leading financial institutions are in various stages of adopting mobile security practices to meet the challenges driven by this evolving mobile market.

PwC supports clients in developing a mobile banking security strategy that helps to reduce security breaches while allowing for flexibility to meet future mobile security regulations, which in turn can help organizations earn and retain customer loyalty.