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September 30, 2015

ISACA Survey Points to Potential Rise in Mobile Payment Breaches

ISACA, a global cybersecurity nonprofit, recently completed a survey of 900 cybersecurity experts to determine their views on the state of the mobile payments market.

The research group, in the “2015 Mobile Payment Security Study,” found that 87 percent of those respondents expect an increase in mobile payment breaches over the next 12 months. However, 42 percent of all respondents noted that they complete mobile payments, which suggests that the possibility of a breach does not deter them from using that payment medium.

This disparity between use and expectation, says ISACA Chief Information Security Officer John Pironti, is not necessarily a bad thing. Although individuals could suffer from identity theft as a result of misguided mobile payments, they can take measures to protect themselves.

“Mobile payments represent the latest frontier for the ongoing choice we all make to balance security and privacy risk and convenience,” Pironti said. “ISACA members, who are some of the most cyber-aware professionals in the world, are using mobile payments while simultaneously identifying and contemplating their potential security risks. This shows that fear of identity theft or a data breach is not slowing down adoption -- and it shouldn’t -- as long as risk is properly managed and effective and appropriate security features are in place.”

These security professionals, according to the study, have an overwhelming bias toward the notion that security breaches will continue to increase in the next year. Furthermore, just 23 percent of respondents reported that mobile payments are secure, but 47 percent said they were not secure. The final 30 percent said they were unsure about the safety of making mobile payments.

A level of security, as Pironti points out, may actually depend on the habits of consumers. If individuals keep away from using public WiFi to make payments, protect their devices from being stolen, educate themselves about text message-based phishing schemes, and use strong passwords, they can help increase their levels of safety. The use of mobile devices can make everyone's lives a little easier to navigate, but the public must still educate themselves about the potential dangers inherent in their use.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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