Smartphones Lack Security as Mobile Shopping Grows: Tripwire

A surprising number of consumers are associating insecure mobile devices with their financial info, which can make them easier targets for cyber-crime.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers (59 percent) and U.K. consumers (65 percent) have no security software on their mobile devices, according to a report from security and compliance management solutions specialist Tripwire.

Conducted by Dimensional Research and OnePoll on behalf of Tripwire, the survey of 1,400 consumers in the two countries found 32 percent of U.S. respondents link their credit cards or bank account information to their mobile devices.

"Two forces are colliding to threaten both personal financial information and corporate data on mobile devices," Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer for Tripwire, said in a statement. "First, a surprising number of consumers are associating insecure mobile devices with their bank accounts or credit cards, which can make them easier targets for fraud and cyber-crime. Second, many of those same consumers are storing sensitive corporate data on the same insecure mobile devices."

Among the U.S. respondents with corporate data on their mobile devices, only 56 percent had security software installed, the survey revealed, suggesting American consumers are leaving themselves in a very vulnerable position, especially in the thick of the holiday shopping season.

"Both of these risks could be significantly reduced by running up-to-date security software on the mobile devices," Melancon continued. "Unfortunately, this survey indicates that consumers are not installing this software and corporations are not enforcing security configuration policies on mobile devices, leaving consumers and businesses at risk. I suspect it will take a serious security incident to drive significant changes in these areas."

Mobile holiday shopping has increased 80 percent over 2012, with nearly 20 percent of sales coming from mobile devices. The massive increase in mobile device traffic to monitored retail sites started on Thanksgiving Day evening and continued throughout Cyber Monday, with volumes 89 percent higher on Black Friday and 87 percent higher on Cyber Monday, compared with days leading up to the online holiday shopping weekend, according to a report earlier this month by Compuware.

Responding to the growth in mobile payments and the concurrent rise in security concerns, International and multichannel payment solutions specialist Adyen recently announced the launch of its Easy Encryption solution, which is designed to help merchants offer end-to-end security for their customers worldwide.

The platform enables merchants from all around the world to use their own payment pages to connect with Adyen’s Payment Platform and accept card payments in 187 currencies as well as a large number of alternative payment methods, encrypting the customer’s payment data in the Web browser or app and the data remains encrypted until it reaches Adyen’s servers.