There is no disputing the fact that the covid-19 pandemic accelerated the global adoption of digital payments and the use of finance applications. The emergence of Fintechs across the globe has enabled a lot of people to send and receive payments, as well as save money on their smartphones through these apps.
However, there seems to be a major constraint posing a serious challenge to these apps, as a recent study revealed that two cybersecurity assessment reports of the top 50 android apps for shopping and finance have indicated security risks to users, including businesses in Nigeria, which was revealed by Appknox, a well-recognized plug-and-play security platform.
According to the report, it disclosed that a high percentage of these apps were marked as high cybersecurity threats to users, thus putting confidential customer and business data at risk. The report, which has been tailored to be geographically specific to ensure a more significant impact on the target audience, showed that 60 percent of Finance apps and 72 percent of shopping apps posed a dangerous risk to users.
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The cybersecurity assessment was presented to Nigerian customers and businesses which function particularly in the retail industry to help them assess the magnitude of security concerns from using the apps. This is coming amid the global danger of e-commerce fraud where businesses across the globe have lost billions of dollars, with more than $20 billion lost in 2021.
The cybersecurity test report which was unveiled in Lagos by CED technologies in partnership with Appknox, disclosed that through the report, app developers in the country would learn to create cost-effective and efficient mobile application security strategies.
The aim of the security strategies is to safeguard the use of these finance apps, and also to guarantee the safety of business data while adhering to international security standards.
According to CED technologies, they disclosed that this report would greatly benefit businesses in Nigeria, as it will help to create the much-needed awareness and also help them understand the importance of cybersecurity for applications built for their businesses.
It has been estimated that by 2025, the adoption of digital payments will accelerate by 5 to 10 percentage points globally. Therefore, there will be an exponential rise in the use of Finance apps, which will no doubt see a surge in cybersecurity threats. Majority of these apps have been disclosed not to have adequate security built-in, leaving users to threats, thereby putting their confidential data at risk.
Although, almost every business that has an online presence is a potential victim of cybercrime, and cyber criminals choose their victims mainly based on two criteria; Maximum revenue and Maximum impact, which makes financial institutions (Banks) and Financial services/Apps their prime target.
Organizations in the financial sector are known to keep highly valuable and critical data electronically, from credit card details, BVN, and other sensitive data, with their routine handling of billions and trillions of dollars. As a result of all this valuable data in their possession, cybercriminals are targeting the financial sector aggressively.
Therefore, it is important that the financial institutions (Banks and Fintechs) as well as Finance app developers, improve their defenses, by learning to create cost-effective and efficient mobile application security strategies to mitigate cybersecurity threats.