Inside Secure / UL: Mobile Banking Needs Better Protection

November 13, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile banking has gained a lot of ground in recent years, between standard-brand brick-and-mortar banks bringing mobile options out and some mobile-only banks stepping in. Yet despite these gains, user protection and security has been given comparatively short shrift. A new report from Inside Secure and UL brought findings of a joint study to Mobey Day in Barcelona that shows mobile banking isn’t as vault-secure as its brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The study essentially found that it is now to be considered a “safe strategy” to “expect that the worst will happen in terms of a security breach” and prepare accordingly, reports noted. Further, the study also noted that banks and similar operations should be planning now for what happens when—not if—their security fails. Remediation plans, as they’re known, should be enacted that not only address technical issues, but also image issues, as customers will potentially leave in droves once a bank suffers a breach.

Further, Inside Secure and UL are noting that clients should look to those who are already familiar with mobile banking security. While in-house development is often smart, it’s best not to spend a lot of time developing what may prove redundant. Experienced partners know what’s already been tried, what’s already failed, and what’s most likely to work.

UL’s international business development director Arman Aygen commented “To deploy a mobile banking application successfully, the functionality, security and usability must be carefully designed, tested and validated. While the adoption rate and innovation in the field is promising, now more than ever, businesses can never be too confident about security and should not take shortcuts needed to secure their mobile banking applications.”

Security has long been the bugaboo of choice when it comes to any payment application. It was that way for mobile payments, it was that way for online shopping before it. It will certainly be that when it comes to mobile banking, given the importance of banking in people’s lives. Convenience is important. We’ve seen that theme reoccur often enough that the point is driven home.

But always, always on the heels of such a development is that it must be balanced against security. Without security, there’s no sense in using it. Banks must learn this lesson to get anywhere with their mobile offerings.