Steven Jobs once said “there will be an app for that”. Man, with the launch of the iPhone, revolutionized the way we interact with software. Not only that, but our overall requirements for technology companies. Now, years after that momentous announcement, apps are everywhere – they’ve migrated from our computers, as software, to our cell phones, and now to our smartphones. Today, there really is an app for that. And companies that don’t have one lose revenue and credibility. Not having an app hurts your brand. But, like all great things, all radical leaps, they also come with a bitter pill. Apps expose you to risk, which then exposes you to liabilities, lost profits, and a thousand other problems. In this article, we will discuss APP risk management. Not just what application risk management is, but how it works and why you need it.
What is Application Risk Management?
Application risk management is a process of identifying and mitigating risks associated with mobile applications. It is critical that app developers are aware of the risks their apps may pose to the end user and have a plan in place to mitigate those risks.
And we’re not just talking about intentional risks, like cyberattacks, but also about unintentional risks. For example, a programming error can expose private data or expose trade secrets. Accidents are sometimes more damaging than attacks. A good example is an app from a fairly well-known fast food chain, which accidentally allowed users to access their customer database – all the user had to do was click a button and type an incorrect password. The combination of these two things gave someone access to key private data. Oddly, and fortunately, the attackers only became aware of the error once the company came clean and informed the public.
The first example shows how a coding error, a testing error, could have disastrous results.
How exactly does application risk management work?
Application risk management is an incredibly complex strategy that allows companies to protect their products. What are they backing up? Well, it’s not just user data – like bank accounts, social security numbers, photos, and thousands of other private information, including but not limited to financial and medical information. – but also trade secrets. Companies need to keep important technical data about their products. How they are built, their proprietary technology, their supply chains, their employee ID and thousands of other factors that could, if stolen, create a lot of chaos.
Identify product risks
The first step in application risk management is to identify the potential risks associated with an application. This can be done by talking to stakeholders, reviewing documentation, interviewing customers, and performing a SWOT analysis.
SWOT stands for Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat – this type of analysis focuses primarily on things that you control and can actually manage or change. Even factors like who is on your team, your patents, your location, your suppliers, your intellectual properties.
Along with a SWOT analysis, you will also need to look at your pipeline and overall supply chain. Today, supply chain attacks are at an all-time high. Hackers can reach you through your vendors or third-party vendors.
For example, malware may be embedded in an application or service that you use. This software is not intended to obtain information or harm the company it was based on, it is intended to infect you. A classic example happened in 2013 when Target – the retail giant – was attacked. How were they attacked? The scammers used credentials stolen from one of their vendors to gain access to the retailer’s network and obtain customers’ payment information.
Implement application risk management strategies
Once the risks have been identified, they can then be prioritized based on their severity and likelihood of occurrence. Security is expensive. This is part of what risk management takes into account. During this step, you will also implement crisis response plans for worst-case scenarios.
Monitor and adapt to changing risks
The next step is to determine how to mitigate these risks. This can be done by implementing security measures such as encryption or data protection, or by modifying the design of an application so that it poses no significant risk to users.
Application Risk Management Strategies
Here are some strategies you can implement in your application risk management efforts.
This is the easiest way to manage risk: just don’t participate in activities or environments that could expose your application to a threat.
A risk becomes less serious, with less inconvenience, thanks to the actions taken by your organization. You agree but implement protective measures to mitigate your exposure to the threat.
Transfer of risk
The risk is transferred via a contract to an external policy — this is the case when the insurance is taken out by the company to cover its losses in the event of an attack.
The risk is shared with other suppliers or employers. Contracts are established regarding the responsibilities or activities that each party must undertake if the application is attacked.
This method accepts risk, acknowledges it, and understands that it is a necessary risk since it can prevent even more overwhelming risks down the road.
Which of these strategies is right for you? It all depends on your business and your threats. It is important to understand that every risk is different and what might work for one will necessarily work for another. By properly auditing your organization and its exposure, you can get an idea of which strategy is best for you.
The benefits of an effective application of security risk management.
The term “application security” is used to describe the process of protecting applications from unwanted access, hacking, or other threats. The benefits of an effective application of security risk management can be found in the following areas:
The benefits of an effective application of security risk management can be found in the following areas:
- Reduce your company’s risk profile by reducing vulnerabilities and increasing employee awareness.
- Build customer trust and loyalty by providing a secure experience.
- Reduce operational costs associated with security breaches and downtime.