80% of IoT Apps Not Tested for Security Vulnerabilities, Study Says

We use mobile applications every day, and typically, multiple times throughout the day. They’ve become part of the way we live our lives and how we stay connected to the digital world. But, have you wondered how much these apps are tested for security, and more importantly, if we need to be taking more precautionary measures when it comes to how we interact with them? Ponemon Institute did, and conducted a study to explore exactly that – what precautionary measures are or are not being taken involving mobile (specifically IoT) app security.

For their “2017 Study on Mobile and IoT Application Security,” Ponemon Institute found that 80% of Internet of Things apps aren’t tested for vulnerabilities and there is still a lack of urgency to address the risk. In fact, an average company tests less than half of the mobile apps they build, and 33% never test their apps for security before they go on the market.

Needless to say, this disparity is concerning, as it opens up mobile users to an IoT-based cyberattack, which, as recent events have shown, can be both powerful and difficult to stop. Not to mention, could expose any personal data the user has shared with that mobile app.

So, how do the respondents feel about the potential security ramifications that come with IoT apps? The survey found despite the lack of urgency, 84% of respondents are very concerned about the threat of malware to mobile apps and 66% of respondents say they are very concerned about this threat to IoT apps.

So, given this concern, and the fact that the majority of IoT apps are still untested for vulnerabilities before they hit stores, it’s crucial that you take the right security measures when using an IoT app. To do just that, follow these tips:

-Keep all apps up-to-date. Even though initial testing is lacking, developers will patch the security holes they discover over time, and include each fix in app updates. So, make sure to keep all of your applications up-to-date to ensure your personal data is secure.

-Study up. Before you even download an app, make sure you head to the review section of an app store first. Take the time to read the reviews, and keep an eye out for ones that mention that the app has had issues with security. When in doubt, avoid any app that seems to place security as a low priority.

-Fight IoT attacks with streamlined security. Instead of managing the security of each individual IoT app, use a more streamlined security technique, like protecting the network that all of these apps connect to with the McAfee Secure Home Platform.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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