Cyber Security: How Secure are you with your Mobile App

Alex Suh, Balance Hero, General Director of Data Analysis, True Balance AppHeadquartered in Gurgaon, True Balance is an application that helps users easily check their mobile balance, purchase pre-paid account, recharge amount, and trace data usage.
The menace called cyber threat is getting sophisticated day by day and it's a big concern for people and society. While most of us are looking at the bright side of the web, it is turning out to be a new playground for digital crimes. As India embraces a cashless economy, there has been a sudden spurt in new mobile wallet companies, making mobile payment a success like never before.

The consistent progress in modern technology has made us very reliant on the Internet. The use of technology is all over, whether it is for communicating via social media, shopping online through a mobile application, storing files and data in offices, and even for entertainment access. Thus, it has become imperative to follow safety protocols to avoid falling victims to hackers and cyber criminals.

Mobile payment has already become common in advanced countries such as Korea as well as the US and China. Though the number of mobile payment services are springing up, but they're not all security assured. Over the past few years, apps based on data analysis have started focusing on the prevention of unauthorized users, a problem which is currently plaguing the app market. To combat this threat, mobile payment companies especially should plan and be certain of their technology stack to avoid any percentage of vulnerabilities.Entities must also avoid open source technologies and instead use secured and updated (Application Programming Interface) APIs from trusted developers.

Critical issues making India vulnerable

India is vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized use due to the prevalent dual SIM and the process of rooting which removes the inherent security mechanisms. There is a need for security processes to be more intensified in India than other countries
especially because of the multi SIM phenomena which is driving the country. Instead of just carrying one SIM, many mobile users are dual SIM users. This allows them to switch between providers to capitalize on varying price, data and service offers from industry operators.But what this also does is give birth to a mobile environment which can be taken advantage of by unauthorized use.

In addition, precautions can be taken to prevent app hacking in advance by raising barriers for devices in the rooting state to create an account or limiting the functions that can be used even if an account is already created.

More over, SIM cards are very cheap and easy to get in India because of fierce competition between telecom companies to attract more subscribers. So it gets just common for a user to have about 3~5 SIM cards. Under this circumstance, users can acquire illegal rewards through apps very easily by rotating multiple SIM cards on a device.

On top of that, rooting (similar to prison breaking) is popular in India, causing a lot of app hacking. It is so prevalent that such rooting facilitating apps are readily available and also feature in top ranks at Google Play store.

There are a lot of cases of rooting in India that can be tracked. For example, if an app is offering a large reward ad and it is noticed that the views of mobile ad surged without clicking the view button of the ad, then this is a clear indication of a fraudulent activity taking place. To counter this , some apps are now opting for a referral reward system in which a person A can invite a friend B to install an app, and A and B respectively get the reward of xx rupees which can keep suspicious activities like these at bay.

Preventing Misuse at Inception

One of the key steps towards taking strong precaution to counter mobile security threats is to tackle it from the account creation stage itself. At the very beginning of the account creation, it basically limits to an initial subscription with respect to the information of a device, Android OS, and SIM card, allowing fewer chances for unfair users to create an account.

In addition, precautions can be taken to prevent app hacking in advance by raising barriers for devices in the rooting state to create an account or limiting the functions that can be used even if an account is already created. Along with all of these measures, cutting edge techniques such as network analysis and early detection of trouble using user behavior analysis can also be used to further strengthen a mobile application from being hacked.

In Korea, advancing in IT and mobile technology, payment using credit cards and mobile payment based on the technology have been popular for more than 10 years and are creating more market opportunities. The Korean mobile service and game industry have fought against unauthorized use and cheating for a long time. Taking advantage of wide range of experiences in the industry, one can take the lead to identify and impose sanctions on fraudulent users in India, which is also suffering from the same issues.