Jeff Harris
Chief Marketing Officer

Immunizing Against Compromised Health and Fitness Apps

January 19, 2016 by Jeff Harris

I admit I wear a Fitbit and yes, I have plenty of friends already addicted to their Apple Watches. I want to believe all that movement during the day is adding up to something healthy. Interestingly, analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2018, two million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment. My marginally paranoid side can’t help but think it’s about insurance premiums. Regardless, I have to wonder if my movement data might be interesting to some hacker out there. It gives me pause. The line between personal and business has become blurred, leaving all kinds of data sitting all over the place.

According to a recent blog on Threat Post, the security outlook in this area is pretty bleak. Citing a study from Arxan, they reported that 86 percent of health apps it reviewed had at least two critical vulnerabilities. Not only that, 55 percent of users that Arxan surveyed expected their apps to be hacked in the next six months. A study from IBM and Ponemon Institute last year sheds some light on why: “The average company tests less than half of the mobile apps they build. Also, 33 percent of companies never test their apps—creating all kinds of entry points for hackers to tap into business data via unsecured devices.” Half is the high mark? Really?!

We need to get real here. There can be no holding back when it comes to testing to ensure products are reliable and networks are secure.

Not to go into commercial mode but products like Ixia’s BreakingPoint exist to find issues with new products and their associated updates before they’re released. Whether you run an enterprise or service provider business, or you build networking equipment —validate your product stability, load, and of course, the security of your products before you ship. We are all counting on you.

With sources like The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), which tallies the Top 10 vulnerabilities, you practically have a testing blueprint. Plus, it will at least give you peace of mind that you have done what you can to ensure product security. Keep the cool new gadgets coming—just make sure you are not creating a bigger problem than you are solving.

To learn more about Ixia security solutions, click here.