97 Percent of Company Mobile Apps Are Insecure

enterprise-apps-securityMobile apps for consumers have been criticized for gathering more information from users’ devices than they need. It seems, however, that mobile apps from companies fare no better. More information from Ecommercetimes.com.

Ninety-seven percent of some 2,000 mobile apps produced by 600 companies accessed at least one private information source on the device they were installed on, according to a report released Monday by HP.

Private data sources accessed by the apps included personal address books, social media pages and even connectivity options such as Bluetooth and WiFi. Worse yet, 86 percent of the apps failed to use simple protections against modern-day attacks.

“So many of these applications are really vulnerable to some kind of an attack,” Mike Armistead, HP vice president and general manager for enterprise security products, told TechNewsWorld.

Nonexistent Encryption

The extent of the vulnerabilities identified in the enterprise apps by HP’s Fortify software was an eye opener for Armistead.

“I was surprised it was so prevalent,” he said. “I thought it might be in the 60-70 percent range, but not 90 percent. The sheer numbers [are] frightening.”

Seventy-five percent of the apps did not use proper encryption when storing data on a mobile device, HP researchers also found.

“This 75 percent represents data that is accessible to anyone who has an unlocked powered-on phone in their possession,” the report says.

“Unencrypted data that is seen and used for malicious purposes by an attacker can violate numerous policies in a corporation’s governance as well as compromise the reputation of the enterprise if sensitive trade secrets are leaked to competitors, or the media,” it notes.

Companies producing apps that bear their name should pay more attention to security, Armistead cautioned.

“Everyone is making the same mistakes — not thinking of security when they’re doing the mobile app,” he said. “Today, it’s almost irresponsible not to think about the security side of an application.”

Printing Guns

A time-honored technique for building acceptance of a new technology has been to establish it in the public schools. Apple has used that technique in the past, and is doing so with its iPad in the present.

Now 3D printer makers appear to be embracing the strategy too. Last week, for instance, MakerBot raised the curtain on a program designed to put a 3D printer in every school in America.

It’s undeniable that 3D printers can be a valuable tool for teaching science, math and engineering, but they also have managed to garner some notoriety as a means for producing gun parts. In the current climate in America, combining the words “guns” and “schools” can detonate an explosive reaction among parents.

Nevertheless, advocates for expanded use of 3D printers in public schools believe most parents will be cool about the technology.

“3D printers aren’t going to be available for kids to use unless you have a teacher’s supervision and approval,” John Westrum, vice president of Afinia, told TechNewsWorld.

If students wanted to make a gun, metal shop might be a better place to do it. “Metal is a much better way to make a weaspon like that,” Jesse Roitenberg, education manager for Stratasys, told TechNewsWorld.

“I wouldn’t shoot a plastic gun with a real bullet. There’s always going to be people that push the envelope in a negative way,” he added.

by: John P. Mello

Photo by: EcommerceTimes.com

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