Millions of Americans resolved to eat healthier in 2020 and for many of us, that means eating more vegetables. Ordering a salad from Chopt, Just Salad, Sweetgreen or Tender Greens is as simple as firing up a mobile app to fulfill a craving for freshly prepared greens.

A keen focus on technology has helped fast casual company Sweetgreen sweep across cities. In fact, the company has plans to create a ‘food platform’ or integrated food system from supply chain all the way to delivery. This excerpt from a recent New York Times article highlights the importance of mobile apps to the business:

Today, Sweetgreen says its [mobile] app has more than 1.5 million users, who account for 55 percent of order volume. (Chipotle, considered a leader in mobile ordering, recorded 18.3 percent of its sales in the United States digitally as of 2019.) Soon, Sweetgreen’s primary point of contact with its customers may no longer be the storefront but the smartphone — a notion that has provoked considerable interest from venture capitalists.”

Sweetgreen hired an executive from Amazon to enhance its app and personalize marketing to individual users to increase stickiness, and the company plans to double in size to 200 stores in the next three years.

The company already has a loyal fan base. Speaking in a Recode podcast, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman said, “For us, while we are a restaurant, the difference between us and most restaurants is, it’s very habitual. Our app users come four times a month. That means they’re treating it more like coffee than they are like a treat.”

Mobile Apps Dominate Digital Traffic

While Sweetgreen may be one of the few fast casual restaurants to project 35 percent to 40 percent growth, it’s not alone in reliance on mobile apps to grow revenue. Businesses across all industries have embarked on mobile transformation.

In fact, mobile apps have become increasingly important to businesses and their supply chains. Comscore data shows that smartphone app usage in 2019 accounted for 63% of minutes spent on digital media, nearly three times more than desktop and web usage. Smartphone mobile app traffic has grown dramatically in recent years while desktop and web traffic is on the wane.

Now clearly consumers don’t just order food with their phones, but shop with them, too. Adobe Analytics reports that 63% of all online shopping traffic this past holiday season came from smartphones and tablets. What’s more, 41% of all purchases were made with those devices. Data from Comscore shows a similar boon in mobile shopping accounting for more than 40% of Cyber Monday digital spending. We’re witnessing a mobile digital transformation era that is already dramatically changing the way that companies interact with their customers, employees and partners. This transformation wave primarily occurs via mobile app because the device is with customers day and night, providing instant access while leveraging mobile sensors, geolocation and other features to deliver unique experiences.

Mobile App Security & Privacy Risks on the Rise

As digital traffic increasingly shifts to mobile apps on smartphones and tablets, attackers have set their sights on mobile apps. That’s because where the users go, the attackers will follow. NowSecure sees approximately one to two high-profile mobile app security and privacy breaches per month. And that’s just what gets covered in the press, so I suspect the real number is probably much higher. (By the way, we’ve added a page on our website to track the relevant business and security issues related to mobile apps — you can find it here.)

The truth is companies face an abundance of risk stemming from security and privacy flaws in their mobile apps. Building secure and private mobile apps requires proper developer skills, safe coding practices and proper testing throughout the development lifecycle. Remember that mobile apps have an authenticated connection to your enterprise services and data, it is not just the data on the device that is at risk! Wouldn’t you rather identify these critical issues prior to release than wait for an attacker to find them and damage your business?

That’s why organizations of all sizes should employ automated mobile application security testing to pinpoint security and privacy issues. Integrating testing into the development lifecycle or prior to release affords developers an opportunity to fix these vulnerabilities before they’re released in the wild. Baking security and privacy testing into the process should give business owners and their customers peace of mind that they are protected. Contact us to learn more about how NowSecure solutions can help you scale to keep pace with the ever-faster innovation cycles while maintaining continuous security.

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Alan Snyder NowSecure CEO

Alan Snyder

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CEO

NowSecure CEO Alan Snyder is responsible for accelerating the growth and scaling of the business as it continues to help enterprises assure the security of their mobile apps and workforces. Alan has deep mobile security expertise resulting from more than 10 years in leadership roles at companies in the enterprise mobility space.