European Businesses Turn to Mobile as the Secure Digital Channel

Posted July 5, 2018

European Businesses Turn to Mobile as the Secure Digital Channel

Europe is truly at the forefront of the mobile-first revolution.

As individuals use their mobiles for an increasing array of tasks in their daily online life, the latest analysis from the ThreatMetrix global network revealed that 58 percent of all transactions in Europe come from mobile devices. Mobile penetration in Europe is significantly higher than the global average – around 51%.

This trend is particularly pronounced in the UK which sees 67% of transactions coming from mobile. Other parts of Europe are seeing very high growth rates in mobile – for example France and Central and Eastern Europe, where mobile transactions grew 96 percent and 63 percent respectively.

Much of this is driven by high login volumes via mobile banking apps, as consumers embrace this channel for a more convenient way to perform banking tasks. For example, in the UK 73% of all banking transactions were from mobile. Mobile banking suits the on-the-go modern consumer and encourages loyalty. Mobile banking customers are often found to be logging on daily, or much more frequently than those who use desktops.

Mobile in the Crosshairs for Fraudsters

This mobile channel is being increasingly targeted by fraudsters. As more and more people adopt mobile-first habits it is natural that fraudsters will target this channel more. One key vulnerability is at the new account creation stage, as fraudsters attempt to either register new apps, or intercept good customer registrations.

When digital businesses are assessing the risk of transactions coming from mobile devices they need to take into account top red flags that may indicate fraud.

For example, transactions coming from jailbroken or rooted devices represent higher risk. People who perform this on their devices are often unaware of the negative implications for their security. This opens them up to increased risk from fraudsters who can circumnavigate security controls to spoof the device.

Mobile malware is on the rise and just as malware detection capabilities are getting more and more sophisticated on web channels, organisations need to ensure they have distinct protections in place that will detect emerging malware on mobile devices.
Additionally, fraudsters routinely de-compile legitimate mobile applications, inject them with malware and then republish them to app stores and attempt to trick individuals into downloading these fraudulent versions. Through these apps they can launch scams to exfiltrate money, goods, credentials or identities.

Mobile is Currently a More Secure Channel than Desktop

Despite the rise in the volume and sophistication of attacks on the mobile channel, attack rates do still remain significantly higher for web compared to mobile. In fact, desktop transactions on the ThreatMetrix network are twice as risky as mobile transactions in Europe. Although the volume of attacks on mobile transactions is rising, it will remain the more secure way to transact online for the foreseeable future.

There are security features that are inherent within mobile devices, and when employing the correct technology, the mobile channel offers a wealth of opportunities to effectively identify consumers in a way that is persistent and reliable, but totally invisible to the user.

To assess the true identity of a consumer, businesses need to assess mobile transactions based upon the four pillars of digital identity – device, location and identity data and threat detection. Mobile offers many options to do so with high accuracy rates, for example through persistent device binding techniques and deep location evaluations that include cell tower positioning.

Additionally, by using security assessments that work seamlessly across mobile and desktop you can get insights from across an individual’s full digital life into trusted behaviour versus possible fraud. Technologies that work in siloes will only give you part of the picture.

Mobile is the future. However, the continued success of this channel relies on the ability of digital businesses to offer consumers peace of mind that their identity and financial information is secure. As fraudsters have an increasing focus on mobile, continued investments in technologies that leverage the unique footprint left by a consumer on their personal mobile devices and their transactional history will help this be a secure and easy method of transacting online – in Europe and beyond.

Download the ThreatMetrix Q1 2018 Cybercrime Report: Europe Deep-Dive, which reveals evolving attack trends and how they differ across the region. This is based on analysis of 1.9 billion digital transactions on the ThreatMetrix® Digital Identity Network® in Q1 in Europe.

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