Financial services businesses at high risk of mobile attacks

Mobile cash

Financial services are at greater risk of phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks on mobile devices than businesses in other industries according to a new report.

The study from mobile security specialist Wandera analyzed mobile device data from 225 financial services customers and reveals financial services organizations are experiencing a higher volume of phishing attacks than their peers in other sectors (57 percent compared to 42 percent cross-industry).

They are at a higher risk of man-in-the-middle attacks too (36 percent compared to 24 percent) perhaps due to higher than normal travel activity and public Wi-Fi usage.

"In the financial services industry, as in many sectors, the security of client information is the most important asset, so it's disconcerting to find mobile security still an afterthought," says Michael Covington, VP of product strategy at Wandera. "Financial organizations are struggling to keep pace with increasing regulations, rapid cloud migrations and rampant BYOD adoption, among other emerging technology trends, making it crucial that industry security pros work to secure not just the devices, but also the apps installed on them and the data they access."

Among other worries are that for every 20 people in financial services, there’s one individual with their lock screen disabled, which has major implications if the device is lost or stolen. In addition, almost three percent of iOS devices in the industry have sideloaded apps as do nearly four percent of Android devices.

There are some positives, however, when it comes to cryptojacking, financial services employees appear to use devices more responsibly than those in other industries and, therefore, the overall device impact is far less (just one percent compared to 2.65 percent cross-industry). More users in financial services maintain their devices with the latest operating system and security patches too, most likely due to well-documented policies and a firm management strategy within financial services mobile programs.

The full report is available from the Wandera site.

Image Credit: Mmaxer / Shutterstock

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