Firms must step up cybersecurity as online threats become more complex


DEVELOPERS of financial applications are expected to become more proactive in preventing fraud and improving their cybersecurity measures this year, automated security and fraud protection provider Appdome said.

“We’ve seen this already. We see this in our customers as well. As they start to plan their 2024 budgets, they ask us, what’s next? They ask to see the indications for fraud,” Appdome Chief Product Officer Chris Roeckl said in an interview with BusinessWorld late last month.

Rising cyber risks are unlikely to affect the use of digital payment platforms as consumers will continue to these because of their convenience, he said.

However, companies could face reputational risks if their users become victims of cyber fraud, Mr. Roeckl said.

“If customers even suspect that there’s fraud or there’s something bad happening, they’ll stop using that brand and tell others to stop using it as well,” he said.

Appdome’s annual survey of consumers showed that demand for mobile brands to be responsible for preventing fraud is growing, he said. This is a departure from the previous view that consumers and operating systems should be proactive about protecting themselves from potential cyberattacks.

“We interviewed 75,000 consumers [globally]. The one thing that they said loud and clear in our most recent survey was that consumer brands need to stop fraud before it starts,” Mr. Roeckl said.

Developers of financial mobile apps, including financial technology companies and banks, are looking at cybersecurity solutions and including it in their budgets, he added.

One fraud detection solution that could see increased usage this year is geocompliance, which matches a user’s profile with their location to see if they are bad actors.

“It’s another fraud signal that is important to brands. This is a new thing — being able to take these two pieces of data and put them together,” Mr. Roeckl said.

Demand for new cybersecurity solutions has increased, he said, and was boosted by the coronavirus pandemic, as companies saw increased mobile app traffic that also came with more complex cyberattacks and fraud attempts, especially amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

“More than 80% of interactions are now done digitally, through mobile apps,” Mr. Roeckl said.

He noted that AI has resulted in the democratization of cybercriminals.

“You don’t have to be a coder anymore to be a bad actor,” he said.

App developers need to step up their cyber protection measures and consider tapping firms providing these kinds of solutions as cybersecurity engineers are hard to find, making it difficult for firms to stay updated about emerging threats, Mr. Roeckl added.

“The industry needs to step up and take responsibility to make sure the app experience is safe,” he said. — A.M.C. Sy