Convenience and security in mobile apps – can we have it all?

Sponsored By: TELUS

For many organizations, the need to provide secure mobile applications and a great customer experience seems like a digital transformation juggling act.

With so many balls to keep in the air, it can be daunting challenge.Organization are pressured to develop ‘mobile first’ applications to provide anytime, anywhere service to users that expect an excellent experience on every transaction.

At the same time, they must protect against new waves of cyber attacks which are making the headlines on a daily basis. According to a recent threat report, more than 7 billion identities have been exposed in data breaches over the past 8 years.

“A high level of security can be built into mobile applications without compromising the customer experience,” says Shri Kalyanasundaram, head of Digital Identity at TELUS. Mobile security and identity management tools are available to do the juggling for them, he says.

A high premium on customer experience

Eighty-nine per cent of companies expect to be competing on customer experience going forward, according to a Gartner survey. Customers and employees place a high value on convenience, even when the stakes are high. A recent J.D. Power survey on banking applications shows that customers are most satisfied when an application is easy to use, especially with regard to the login process.

Research by Intel reveals that the average person has at least 27 passwords and more than a third of users forget at least one password every week. That’s why the adoption of increasingly complex passwords is not the answer. It annoys the users and doesn’t improve application security.

Similarly, when faced with lengthy or repeated sign-on procedures, customers may switch to other alternatives. This problem often happens when security is bolted onto legacy applications or an existing web site rather than being integrated into the mobile platform. However, developers can get bogged down on the difficult and time consuming process of building security into their organizations’ mobile applications, reducing their speed and agility to market.

Having it all in a mobile security solution

A recent white paper by KPMG suggests that organizations can position themselves to deliver secure and customer-friendly mobile apps by investing in state of the-art authentication methods. “An identity services framework, one supporting ‘pluggable’ authentication and authorization services, can quickly and efficiently provide the required agility to deliver during every interaction with customers,” it says.

An all-in-one mobile security solution allows organizations to easily leverage digital identity and data protection tools, says Kalyanasundaram. The use of cumbersome password log-ins can be replaced by multi-factor authentication to quickly validate the identity of users  Data encryption protects sensitive information, whether it resides on the device or a server, allowing for secure messaging in an enterprise setting. Digital signing can also be used to make it easy for customers to complete transactions on their devices. “When authentication and data protection can be easily integrated into the mobile platform, organizations can focus on delivering applications that customers want to use”, says Kalyanasundaram.

Digital identity addresses the challenge to provide a secure and frictionless customer experience,” says the KPMG paper. “And it should be a key component of any organization’s digital transformation agenda today.”


Learn more about TELUS Mobile Security Solutions here.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Sponsored By: TELUS

Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.