Rich Boyer, senior information security architect, NTT Com Security
Rich Boyer, senior information security architect, NTT Com Security

While the enterprise software market is predicted to grow to $4.5 billion by 2016, the increasing prevalence of mobile applications is exposing new security holes for businesses. Having an app for everything brings many benefits, but also entices hackers to target apps as gateways to valuable data. Businesses must meet the associated security challenges head-on with structured approaches.

Both mobile and enterprise technology are exciting, well-funded IT sectors. But it's where mobile and enterprise meet that we find the most profitable sector of all: mobile apps.

The rise of mobile has fuelled the trend towards bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as well as in-house developed applications. Apps help enterprises build identity and engage customers, as well as increase efficiency. But just as the web brought new IT security challenges, applications present fresh risks to business.

Collaborative app development poses threats to unencrypted code which could unlock login details of cloud services – and ultimately corporate networks. Development risks must be managed in the context of commercial objectives, but businesses must stay one step ahead of hackers.

Over a defined lifecycle, businesses must: review corporate architecture to address all vulnerabilities; understand compliance requirements and ensure security is built-in from the very start; use best practices and tested secure modules wherever possible; test and test again in-line with emerging threats; and perform configuration management to maintain consistent application performance.

It's inevitable that hackers will target intellectual property stored during app development. By addressing these complex risks, businesses will create secure applications with confidence. As a result, they'll benefit from innovative ways to interact, without worries over unlocked back doors.