Browse Definitions :
Definition

leaky app

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A leaky app is a small software program – typically a mobile app – that transmits user data across the Internet.

The issue is compounded in a BYOD (bring your own device) environment, where employee devices access corporate data, and when employees use shadow IT at work: devices and software that are not supported by the company’s IT department. Many mobile apps automatically synchronize data with other devices and cloud storage services, such as Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Unless that function is disabled, these apps can easily leak enterprise data to public clouds without the knowledge of employees, administrators or employers. According to Gartner research, the majority of mobile security breaches are the result of faulty device configuration rather than targeted attacks. 

Leaky apps were first brought to the attention of the general public  when whistleblower Edward Snowden reported on the mass surveillance methods and activities of government agencies. According to documents that Snowden made public, agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) were accessing huge amounts of data leaded from mobile apps including Angry Birds, Google Maps, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and Twitter. Depending on what the user has specified in his profile,  a single picture posted from a mobile device could leak image metadata including the user’s nationality, current geolocation, age, gender, zip code, marital status, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level and number of children. Although in this case the surveillance doesn’t target individual users, the large volumes of data can be subjected to big data analytics to yield useful information.

This was last updated in June 2016

Continue Reading About leaky app

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • business impact analysis (BIA)

    Business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to ...

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive that is used in internally mounted storage expansion cards of a small form factor.

Close