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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 25, 2017

Expert: App security key for CMOs

Mobile apps and websites, while offering consumers more convenience, offer most brands a security challenge for which many are unprepared. Here's what businesses need to know.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How is app security impacting today's CMO more than others within an organization?

Mark Lorion, President & General Manager, Enterprise App Protection Products, Arxan Technologies: Security has become a concern --or should be-- for today's CMO because so much of the customer lifecycle has quickly moved online and to mobile apps. It's hard to hack into a company's paper literature, but mobile apps and websites are frighteningly common targets for hackers looking to steal customer or company data or simply attack a corporate brand. And for CMO's with mobile apps that are a component of the company's actual product line, such as in banking, mobile app companies, healthcare, or gaming, hacking into an app can quickly lead to the loss of trade secrets and even lead to exposing enterprise apps and services running behind a corporate firewall. These security breaches can create irreparable brand damage to consumer trust, lead to financial loss, and may jeopardize compliance with regulations -- things most CMO's want to avoid.

Kristina: Where are the trouble spots for marketers looking to ensure mobility is in sync with the security team, not only for their own data protection but for their customers' protection, too?

Mark: In an attempt to move swiftly and introduce new web assets or launch mobile apps, many CMOs have gone outside of their traditional IT organizations and engaged directly with contracted app development agencies. While the creative results may be strongly and quickly delivered, these development processes run a high risk of not being tied into the corporate governance standards that were put in place to protect the organization and its customers. Leveraging specialized, outsourced development agencies isn't the issue; it's internal project sponsors that fail to plug the development effort into the corporate security team to ensure proper standards are being followed.

Kristina: What does the future hold for mobile apps deployed via the marketing department? Are things changing?

Mark: CMOs and marketing departments will continue to be a driving force behind introducing web and mobile apps for the company. Seeing the vulnerability that rouge app development projects have created, a number of mobile app security and deployment solutions are now available that help bridge the gap between rapid app development and security and governance integration. For example, these include innovations such as security "guards" that can be inserted into apps as they are built --even by external developers-- to detect and prevent tampering, IP theft or app reverse engineering. This allows marketing departments to move quickly and leveraging legions of outsourced developers who are adhering to governance standards and applying protections to keep apps and content safe when it's deployed into the "wild".

Tags: advertising, app security, Arxan, mobile marketing, mobile security, security trends

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