5 Myths Debunked: Mobile App Security Survey Highlights Consumers’ Demand


Source: Appdome 2021 Mobile Consumer Survey.

By Roy Urrico

Finopotamus aims to highlight white papers, surveys, analyses and reports that provide a glimpse as to what is taking place and/or impacting credit unions and other organizations in the financial services industry.


Consumer expectations regarding mobile app security have never been as high as they are today. While mobile banking apps still set the standard, chief information security officers (CISOs), and others responsible for protecting mobile consumers and revenue, need to prioritize app security projects and move quickly to implement improved security across Android and iOS devices.


That is among the findings from “CISOs Meeting Consumer Expectations of Mobile App Security in 2021,” a global survey from Redwood City, Calif.- based Appdome, which provides no-code mobile app security and fraud prevention. The study, which queried a demographically diverse sample of more than 10,000 mobile consumers, provides insight into the complex and sophisticated security, malware and threat-defense expectations of mobile consumers in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.


The survey results offer CISOs valuable views into which mobile app threats consumers fear most, which apps consumers expect will have the highest level of security, changes in consumer expectations for mobile app security as a result of COVID-19, and the rising strength of mobile app security expectations across every key demographic and geographic audience.

Tom Tovar, CEO and co-creator of Appdome.

“Globally, consumer expectations of mobile app security are deeply held, complex and sophisticated,” said Tom Tovar, CEO and co-creator of Appdome. “The voice of the consumer flips the script on the ‘security vs. features’ debate, making clear that mobile app security and malware protection are on par with other critical features in the mobile app experience and demanded by every consumer that downloads and uses a mobile app.”


Appdome suggested CISOs can accelerate their work to improve and deliver better mobile app security, debunking several myths held by non-cybersecurity professionals, including:


Myth #1: Consumers are comfortable with “buyer beware” mobile app security strategies.

Reality: Consumers expect the publisher to provide a very high level of mobile app security and protection in the mobile app.

· 73% would stop using a mobile app if it left them unprotected against attack.

· 74% would stop using a mobile app if their app experienced a breach or hack.

· 46% would tell their friends to stop using an app if their app experienced a breach or hack.


Myth #2: Consumers are willing to give up security to get better features in the mobile app.

Reality: Most consumers value security and malware protection much or more than they do features.

· 38% said they care most about security when using mobile apps.

· 37% said they care most about features in mobile apps.

· 25% care most about security and features, equally.


Myth #3: Protecting against network and cloud breaches should be #1 priority.

Reality: Consumers care most about app-level, on-device threats and dismiss network-cloud threats.

· 62% fear someone hacking their app, making it the No. 1 mobile app threat.

· 56% fear malware threats on their device, making it the No. 2 mobile app threat.

· 32% fear network-cloud threats, making it the No. 7 mobile app threat.


Myth #4: Protecting user credentials and login on the backend is enough to satisfy consumers.

Reality: Consumers rank threats like malware and hacking above credentials loss from backend breaches.

· 55%-plus of Android and iOS users fear malware stealing data from their app as the No. 1 threat.

· 40% of consumers in all age groups fear lack of protection for credentials, making it the No. 4 threat.


Myth #5: Mobile app security is only relevant if the mobile app is in a regulated industry.

Reality: Consumers demand the highest mobile app security from all kinds of apps, including banking and other apps, equally.

· 36% expect mobile banking apps have the highest level of security.

· 33% said that “all transaction apps” should have the highest level of security.

· 16% said that e-wallet/payment apps should have the highest level of security.

· 12% of all consumers say that retail and food delivery apps should have the highest level of security.


"Security is extremely important to consumers of mobile apps, especially financial apps like those published by credit unions," said Tovar. "CISOs have long been advocating for the inclusion of stronger security in their apps, and now it's clear that consumers support them. And with the advent of automated, no-code platforms that can incorporate security into an app, security can easily be integrated into the development process without ballooning costs or delaying releases."


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