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Malicious apps leveraging top UK brands has increased by 130%

The number of malicious apps leveraging top UK brands has grown by 130 percent year on year.


New research from RiskIQ examined mobile apps owned by or leveraging the brands of 45 top UK organisations across the banking, retail, media and entertainment, travel and online gambling sectors to show the threats that UK companies and their customers face.


Research found 107,367 brand-associated blacklisted apps, representing 43 percent of the total number of apps discovered, an increase of 131 percent over the past year.


In 2016, nearly one quarter million (248,701) brand-associated apps appeared, which is the equivalent of roughly 5,805 mobile apps per brand. This resulted in a year-on-year growth of almost two-thirds (63 percent).


Each studied brand had apps in an average of 80 different app stores, up 32 percent since 2015. The number of feral apps increased by 165 percent in the past year, with the biggest growth taking place in financial services.


As the mobile app store world evolves, organisations across these sectors face a challenging future when it comes to protecting their digital assets, their brand and their customers from the impact of cyber-crime because of the increased risk the research has exposed.


“In our connected generation, we as consumers turn to our mobile apps for banking, gaming, shopping, travel advice and even to control aspects of our home such as the temperature or lights. This growing reliance comes with an expectancy that top brands will protect our digital existence. If a customer experiences malicious activity whilst using an app they think belongs to a business, the blame is sure to be placed on the brand itself – not on the rogue app. Organisations need to know what mobile apps are out there and which are putting businesses and their customers at risk,” said Ben Harknett, VP EMEA at RiskIQ.

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