Apps the reason we have computers!

We have all seen them – “Ten apps that do this” and “five apps that do that” – these are the sponsored and endorsed apps that could be compromising your business security.

Most apps, not all, when created have their security component looked at as a final part of the process just before being released.   On the off chance that they will generate lots of revenue and get shared all over the internet the creators think that the required security of a game, small application or utility is not required.

A badly created or insecure Application has the ability to compromise the security of a PC, laptop, tablet or phone with minimal effort.   The use of an untested software routine or sub routine can allow malicious software to run within the context of the application.   This is bad.   In a business environment this is very bad.

In today’s app market it seems that “good enough” is the driving force behind the release date of the product even though there can be major problems with the app.   These problems not only include the security component but also the user experience, the actual capability of the app and the way the app interacts with the rest of the systems.

In computers and laptops it is not so bad.   A big problem is they are actually written to compromise the systems – this is where malware, spyware, worms and viruses come into focus.  In tablets and phones running IOS, android or a Linux derivative they are not specifically targeted it is more accidental.

Apple has a certain level of  control over apps being written for iPhones and IPads where the android store has no such controls.   Where as Apple can only be purchased and downloaded from the apple store android based apps can be downloaded from any website with the required link.   At the moment the only controls that are implemented in the proliferation of bad software is a type of recommendation system.

No recommendations = no buy.   With the power of the Internet and the capability for an idea to travel,  a bad app can still get picked up by 100,000 users in 24 hours and go viral.

So it comes down to user beware.    Always look at the recommendation for the app.  Always check comments and always make sure that what you are purchasing is doing what you want it to do

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.

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