Mobile Health Apps Need Better Health to Reduce Cybersecurity Attacks

15 Apr

Mobile health apps are becoming more and more popular in modern medicine enabling hospitals to collect and share patient information on an anywhere-anytime basis.

Health apps also help to deliver a streamlined and beneficial process allowing hospitals and doctors to track and manage patient health and giving patients access to their medical data at the push of a button. The problem though is that many of these apps have been developed at high speed focussing more on innovation than security leaving the apps vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

why are cybercriminals targeting mobile health apps?

Mobile health apps amass detailed profiles of their users, making them a prime opportunity for cybercriminals to jump in and steal valuable user data. Some of the information includes an identification number, cell phone numbers, email addresses, banking details, and physical addresses. The personal information can be used to carry out identity theft, guess login details for accounts, and even make online purchases (especially if they encounter saved card details online) and there is big money in the ‘full medical record’.

Pair all the above sensitive personal data with vulnerable cybersecurity measures, and you have a big problem. Stored patient records make for a cybercriminal field day! Crime syndicates are quickly catching on to the fact that mobile health apps have inadequate data protection, which puts hospitals and patients in a precarious position. Measures need to be put in place swiftly to avoid significant repercussions.

authorisation and authentication

Authorisation as a step of security on these apps is not sufficient. Pairing authorisation with authentication may be the solution to the above problem.

Name and password authentication is no longer an adequate cybersecurity level, particularly with apps that store such a vast amount of personal data. App designers need to implement a further step of authentication as an added security element, which can be implemented in multiple ways.

One of the most common added security layers these days is a one-time pin (OTP) number that is sent to the users’ mobile device. Without the OTP pin, there is no access to the profile.

Avoiding user-only input and requiring a one-time pin generated from an external source is a simple yet effective solution to the problem. This simple step should reduce the number of cyberattacks on mobile health apps.

The issue of authorisation without authentication is not limited only to mobile health apps – it would seem to be a common security flaw in many apps. The concern with health apps, however, is that they contain far more personal data, making them a hot target for cyber-criminals as a “jackpot” of user data.


Mobile Health Apps can save lives but there is no denying that cyberattacks are on the rise and these health apps are being targeted. It is up to both developers and hospitals to partner together and go the extra mile to ensure all users are sufficiently protected against possible cyberattacks. With the right crypto applications, end-users can ensure that they keep their data and privacy safe from cybercriminals.

Comments are closed.