Mobile payments grow, and so too do security worries
Mobile payments are on the rise all over the world. More consumers are getting their hands on smartphones and tablets, allowing them to shop and purchase products online with nothing more than their mobile device and their financial information. Mobile commerce services are expanding, providing the infrastructure necessary to facilitate a new form of commerce among a wide range of consumers. As mobile payments become more common, they are attracting the attention of more than just consumers and businesses. Hackers are beginning to consider mobile commerce a very lucrative playground, and the growth of mobile payments is highlighting the security concerns that exist in this emerging field.
Mobile commerce may yet be vulnerable to threats
The mobile commerce field has successfully attracted several large companies, many of whom have investing in improving the technology used in the field. As the technology that forms the foundation for mobile payments improved, it becomes easier for consumers to make payments directly from the smartphone of tablets. Many of the technological updates have been focused on making mobile commerce more accessible to consumers, however, and not necessarily more secure. This has left many gaps in protection that could be exploited by malicious parties.
Malware targeting mobile commerce field is becoming more common
NQ Mobile, a leading developer of mobile security software, notes that more than 65,000 new malware threats were exposed throughout the world in 2012. Much of this malware was designed to simply gain access to a mobile device and exploit its information in some way. A significant portion of these threats, which posed as unassuming and docile mobile applications, were designed specifically to steal a consumers financial information when they participated in mobile commerce in some way. NQ Mobile claims that the problem is serious and growing to become a major crisis if measures are not taken to address the issue of malware in the mobile commerce field.
Awareness of mobile security currently lacking among consumers
Mobile security is currently one of the largest challenges facing mobile payments today. Many consumers have shown that they are willing to purchase products, shop, or pay their bills with a mobile device, but relatively few actually do so due to concerns regarding the security of their information. There are several brands of security applications available to help protect mobile devices from malware that would exploit a consumer’s financial information, but awareness of these applications is still somewhat low among many mobile consumers.