The Risks of Mobile Payment Technology

Hilary Tuttle


November 2, 2015

mobile payment data security

With new technology, the trade-off between risk and convenience often clearly favors the latter. In the mobile payment space, that is not only the case among consumers, but also among some experts.

When IT governance association ISACA surveyed more than 900 cybersecurity professionals, only 23% said transactions using mobile payment technology are secure, and 87% expected to see an increase in mobile-payment data breaches over the next 12 months.

The most significant security concerns they cited were: use of public WiFi on a payment-enabled device (26%), lost/stolen devices (21%), and phishing/smishing (phishing conducted over SMS) (18%). But while these experts lack confidence in the security, 42% had still used a mobile payment platform to make a purchase.

“Mobile payments represent the latest frontier for the ongoing choice we all make to balance security and privacy risk and convenience,” said John Pironti, risk advisor with ISACA and president of IP Architects. “ISACA members, who are some of the most cyberaware 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.”

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.