Mobile apps in finance are increasingly becoming the way finance professionals access their work data. However, with an increase in apps comes an increased risk to security. With organizations still having difficulty protecting data on mobile devices, there is even more of a concern when thoughtlessly allowing employees to store personal information on company-owned devices. There are many benefits to creating both personal and corporate finance mobile apps. They allow employees to access work-related data from anywhere. However, if not designed properly, mobile apps can create a permanent security exposure for the company and its employees.
Importance of Data Security with Finance Apps
Are finance apps secure? When companies are not in compliance with information security standards, they can face significant penalties. To avoid this, organizations invest in security technologies to keep data secure and private when it is at rest or in transit. These protections are critically important when mobile apps are being developed that access work-related data. For example, GDPR has strict rules regarding the storage of EU citizen’s data on a third-party server. It also states that the consent to use this data must be clear and unambiguous, which is not typically found in mobile app Terms of Service.
Finance professionals are always looking for ways to improve efficiencies while doing their job. This has led them to using mobile apps for work-related activities while on lunch or outside of the office. Rather than storing work-related data on the mobile device’s hard drive, they store this information in cloud based storage solutions. This ensures that employees always have access to their work files no matter which mobile device they are using.
While this solution provides many benefits for finance professionals, it also presents new risks to companies. Allowing sensitive company data to reside on a third-party server is not always best practice. Mobile finance apps security must always be a top priority when users are accessing and storing work-related data on mobile devices.
Current State of Finance Apps’ Data Security
Many finance-related mobile apps encrypt data, but only when the data is at rest. This means that if someone were to steal a smartphone or tablet, they could access work-related information without too much trouble. The majority of applications store passwords using the iOS Keychain and Android Secure Keystore . However, these applications do not provide end-to-end encryption and the data is only protected when in transit, not at rest. This also means that if a user’s phone is compromised, all of the application data will be easily accessible.
Mobile applications can access a device’s microphone, camera, and other features that could put an organization at risk. If finance employees are allowed to save personal information using their company-owned devices, it creates another point of failure in your security posture.
How To Ensure Your Finance App is Secure
Finance professionals are looking for ways to improve efficiencies while doing their job. This has led them to using mobile apps for work related activities outside the office. However, organizations may not be aware that data storage on mobile devices can create a permanent security exposure for the company and its employees . In order to reduce risk, companies should consider implementing endpoint security solutions such as endpoint encryption and data loss prevention (DLP) to safeguard against both malicious attacks and inadvertent human error.
Endpoint Encryption – Endpoint encryption collects sensitive data on a company’s servers, but creates unique keys for each individual device so it is only accessible when the user has their phone or tablet. This process fully encrypts the data so even if it is stolen, hackers and/or employees would not be able to access any sensitive information.
Data Loss Prevention – DLP solutions monitor the data flow of the mobile device and once it leaves the device, it triggers a policy violation that can stop sensitive information from being sent out. This technology allows companies to know exactly what data leaves the network and who has access to it, so they can quickly resolve security issues.
By implementing endpoint encryption and data loss prevention, finance professionals using mobile apps for work related activities will have a reduced risk of exposing their company’s financial data . Additionally, companies can save significant costs by avoiding fines associated with non-compliance.
Without proper protection, finance professionals using mobile apps for work-related activities can expose their companies to significant financial penalties.
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