After high profile data breaches including the Sony hack last year, more companies are on higher alert. But cybercrime is an ever-evolving problem, and thieves are now focused on a new target—vulnerable mobile apps.
For many businesses, reaching customers or managing a vast swath of employees means developing and launching apps for public consumers or in-house workers. But nearly 40 percent of larger U.S. companies are not scanning new mobile apps for potential vulnerabilities and are simply releasing the applications, according to a cybersecurity study released Thursday.
The results are based on a survey of U.S. information technology security professionals, and was conducted by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, a Michigan-based research center on privacy, data protection and information security policy. The institute sent the survey to nearly 20,000 IT professionals in January and got 640 responses.
"Highlighted [in the study] are real challenges with mobile apps," said Caleb Barlow, IBM's vice president of mobile management and security.
Adding to the potential dangers of unscanned mobile applications, cybercriminals and hackers are increasingly targeting physical mobile devices in the same way they've hacked laptop and desktop computers. This combination of criminals targeting mobile hardware and often unscanned apps is creating a possible recipe for more data disasters.