An EU agency is cautioning consumers to be aware of the threats associated with wallet apps.
The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has released a report cautioning consumers about mobile payment security. The ENISA report pointed to an “explosive proliferation of viruses and malware affecting mobile devices.”
The report included the results of an ENISA study into the threats within the mobile wallet app environment.
The study examined the types of mobile payment security threats that have been effectively holding the ecosystem back. It also underscored the need for mobile wallet service providers to conduct their own examinations of security concerns to better address them. In this way, it could become possible for safety features to be more visible to consumers. That may improve the trust consumers have for the applications and, therefore, improve their adoption.
Though mobile payment security can be made quite adequate, many consumers don’t know how.
The majority of up-to-date mobile operating systems do include solid security features. However, the problem isn’t in what’s available. The issue is in providing consumers with the knowledge they need to use them. The report stated that, all too frequently, consumers don’t know how to find the security features they would want and they therefore do not use them.
ENISA also indicated that consumers would be wise to take on their own efforts to boost their mobile security. The report recommended that they make a certain “minimum” effort. It cautioned consumers of the chance that threats could occur at some point in the chain for mobile payments.
Beyond holes in security within devices themselves and in the way owners use the gadgets, ENISA also pointed to a need for improvements in securing POS equipment in stores. It also said that secure networking equipment enhancements would be greatly helpful. “Despite this push towards mobile payments, security concerns still remain of paramount importance and one could say that consumer discomfort with the current state of play has inhibited mass adoption,” said the report.
It also underscored the impact of consumer awareness of mobile payments security issues. As viruses and malware become commonplace and the risk of having a smartphone lost or stolen continually looms, consumers feel uneasy about using the devices in areas where they could place their finances at in danger.