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Filipinos’ app security insights that app developers need to prioritize

Filipinos are choosing the convenience of mobile apps over web channels for shopping, paying bills, and for work. The mobile app economy in the Philippines is at its height, and this has not gone unnoticed by hackers.

In an exclusive interview with Jan Sysmans, Appdome’s mobile app security evangelist, he said that the threat landscape in mobile apps is complex.

“The attackers use a very, very broad set of diverse attack vectors to achieve their outcome. And so for app makers, they should be deploying a very broad set of protections,” Sysmans told PhilSTAR Tech

Good security cannot be traded with new app features

Filipino consumers believe that mobile application developers should broaden protective measures over having a wide array of app features.

Appdome found in its 2022 study that only 21.1% of Filipino mobile app users are unwilling to trade security over features, saying that app developers should protect them from fraud, malware, and other security threats.

Only 10.8% of the respondents preferred having a vast range of new features in an app over enhanced protection, while 68.10% found security and features equally important. 

With Filipinos being a “mobile first audience,” app developers are called upon to prioritize their security measures in order to catch up with today’s attacks launched by hackers.

Hackers get better with today’s tech

In the same Appdome study, Filipino consumers were found to use an average of seven mobile apps a day, which makes them at par with their global counterparts who regularly use 3-5 and 6-10 mobile apps daily. 

Aside from hackers refocusing their attacks, the app security expert believes that they have improved their tools just as well as how technology has improved today. 

“The protections that were good 2-3 years ago are no longer effective against these modern tools and modern attack vectors.”

However, Sysmans corrected the notion that there are common tools that hackers use to attack mobile app users, saying that deployment of comprehensive security models is the only way for app makers to “stay ahead of the game.”

Open communication with consumers

Sysmans also advised app developers to bank on open communication with their consumers to keep their trust.

“And if they do, if they communicate with their consumers about that, the consumers will actively become advocates of that brand.”

Finally, according to the Appdome study, Filipino consumers are more likely to continue using the app if their security expectations were met, with 95.4% of them showing willingness to advocate for the brand. This number is higher than the global standard of 93.8%. 

The study had 25,000 mobile consumers as respondents, covering 11 countries, including the United States, Philippines, Australia, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.