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The state of app security: Perception vs reality

Protection solutions specialist Arxan Technologies has just released its fifth annual State of Application Security report, which takes an in-depth look into the security of some of the most popular mobile apps available.

The company found a huge discrepancy between consumers’ beliefs regarding the level of security built into the apps, and the degree to which developers of these apps actually address known application vulnerabilities. Worryingly, 90 per cent of the applications tested were vulnerable to at least two of the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Mobile Top 10 Risks. These are the most critical risks facing apps.

Of the app users surveyed, 83 per cent believe their apps are adequately secured, but that there is room for improvement. Only 57 per cent believe that everything possible is being done to protect the apps and 48 per cent of the users believe it is likely that an app they use will be hacked within the next six months.

Arxan also offers some recommendations to executives and users, featuring tips such as setting your security bar above the regulations and only downloading apps from authorised sources.

Arxan Technologies tested 126 of the most popular mobile health and finance apps from the US, UK, Germany, and Japan for security vulnerabilities and you can see the findings in infographic form below.