Banking apps are designed to let people conveniently enjoy the benefits of mobile banking on their devices anytime and anywhere. Although convenient and deemed safe to use, these apps are highly vulnerable to data breaches as they store personal data such as account numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information of users that can be used and stolen by hackers.
According to ISSA, 57% of US organizations are affected by the cybersecurity skills crisis. The lack of expertise in financial institutions leads to the high vulnerability of mobile banking apps. By 2021, there are about 169.3 million mobile banking users in the U.S., 80% of whom cite mobile banking as their primary way to access their bank account.
To protect your users’ sensitive data, you should secure your banking app. Let’s find out what we can do now to avoid potential data breach risks in your mobile solution.
Key Security Vulnerabilities in Mobile Banking Apps
To better prevent data breaches and detect them early, you must first identify the common software vulnerabilities and weak spots in banking app security. These vulnerabilities may just be simple bugs or glitches, but they can open the door for hackers to access sensitive information within the app and commit data breaches.
Multiple sessions are when a user launches their mobile banking app multiple times without authenticating on each subsequent launch. Whether a user does this intentionally or accidentally, hackers can easily exploit this vulnerability because they can gain access to the user’s bank account by forcing their way into failed or expired sessions. This could’ve been prevented by securing login sessions and monitoring how many times the user logged into the mobile banking app.
Man-in-the-Middle Attacks and Hijacking
In a man-in-the-middle attack or MITM attack, an attacker inserts themselves into the middle of an interaction between a user and the app. The hacker uses this opportunity to gain access to a secret key used for encrypting data between a user and a banking app, and then steal personal information, account numbers, and login credentials to use for identity theft or password change.
Hijacking is another type of cybersecurity attack where an attacker takes control of a user’s device by infecting it with malware. The malicious software hides in an unsecured app and once a user installs it, their smartphone is controlled by the attacker as if it belonged to them. This allows the attacker to access the user’s data, which is then used to authenticate the user to a remote server.
One way to prevent and eliminate these risks is to implement security tools in your mobile banking app. Both MITM and hijacking attacks are best prevented when a mobile banking app has an intrusion detection system (IDS) that uses techniques such as statistical analysis, fuzzy logic, ANN, etc. to detect suspicious activity within your app.
Spoofing is the act of posing as a trusted source that can apply to texts, emails, notifications, phone calls, and even websites. Hackers mimic a known source, such as a user’s bank, and request personal information and credentials via phone call or email.
To prevent spoofing and related threats, you should educate your end-users so they do not click on suspicious links or share sensitive data like OTP. You should also ensure that users’ contacts are stored securely so that intruders can not gain access to them.
This method of inputting malicious code or malware into a program is used by many hackers to fetch data and information from a particular program. This is surprisingly common with mobile banking apps, where perpetrators find a vulnerability in a code and use it to inject viruses that can steal personal and confidential information such as account numbers, emails, and passwords. To prevent these attacks, developing a security system within your mobile banking is best suggested.
Usage of Open-Source APIs
Open-source APIs are a good choice when it comes to equipping a product with new features and helping it grow, but not in the case of mobile banking apps. Open-source APIs are also referred to as public APIs as they are freely used by others. The use of open-source APIs in mobile banking apps is considered very risky as it increases the risk of identity and MITM attacks by allowing hackers to freely access users’ devices.
Ways To Improve Security of Your Banking App
Multi-Factor Authentication & Access Management
Multi-factor authentication is a method that requires users to provide two or more proofs that they are the legitimate owner of the account before they can be successfully logged into the mobile banking app and verified. This method prevents security breaches while protecting user data. Access management, on the other hand, is a tool that allows users to manage the devices on which they have successfully logged in. They can also use access management to determine if there are any suspicious logins in their account.
This type of security method is also a way to prevent MITM attacks. End-to-end encryption means that only a user and the person they are communicating with are involved in the conversation – not even the mobile banking app can detect the transactions or interactions the user has within the app.
Real-Time Text and Email Alerts
With this feature, users can receive text and email alerts about anything going on in their mobile banking app, including log-in alerts, security reminders, or emails about suspicious activity on a user’s account.
User and Entity Behavior Analytics
User and entity behavior analytics is another powerful tool that can prevent cybersecurity attacks. This allows mobile banking apps to monitor, detect and investigate potential threats and risks within the application.
The risk of data breaches increases the demand for services that protect users’ data and allow them to safely use mobile banking apps, which in fact need to be constantly checked and scanned for potential vulnerabilities. With Itexus engineers behind your mobile banking app, we make sure it is safe to use and your users’ data is reliably protected.
Want to defend your app against different types of cyber threats and ensure the safety of your users’ data? Contact us to find out how we can help you.