Why Mobile App Security should be a top priority?
Guess the number of smartphone users in the current digital tick of the year. According to Statista, the count is 6.648 billion, indicating 83 % of the global population owns a smartphone. And what reflects on the other surface of the count is the sprouting attacks against mobile applications.
While the demand for mobile applications rises in Android and iOS, security risks are also climbing. Those mobile apps lacking essential security protocols raise extreme risks to users and developers. These vulnerable applications become targets to hackers for malware attacks or data breaches.
Here is exactly where mobile application security testing tools and methodologies stay vital in securing your critical mobile applications.
What is Mobile App Security?
Mobile App Security denotes the measures of defending a mobile app from externally sprouting threats such as malware, hacking or other criminal manipulations. If applications are not safely fended, they may anytime pose security threats to the financial and personal information enclosed within these devices.
What is happening now, and why should users be concerned?
Mobile applications are more prevalent because businesses and users heavily lean on the advantages they serve. Users rely on mobile apps for work, entertainment, education and many more. Similarly, mobile apps tend to be the first-line connectors for businesses enabling their service portfolio to reach end customers. People must be well-aware and comprehend that the applications available in app stores might not carry the required protection as said. Likewise, application developers should understand the criticality of integrating security while developing business-critical applications. And that raises a direct query – ” What will happen if a mobile app is not secure enough or what do developer’s risk with insecure app development?”.
What are App Developers risking with insecure mobile application security architecture?
- Code Injection
- Data Leakage
Mobile applications typically need to access or transmit data across the network. There are both intended and unintended data leakages. The former occurs when data is leaked by a hacker penetrating the mobile application for malicious purposes. The latter occurs when developers unknowingly put critical information on a mobile device location that can be accessed by other applications within the device.
- Insufficient transport layer protection
When developing a mobile application, data is commonly swapped in a client-server fashion, sailing between carrier networks and the internet. Applications lacking adequate efforts to fend off data exchange in the network traffic fail to authenticate and encrypt crucial network traffic and unlock the possibility for hackers to access this sensitive data while in transmission.
- Security decisions from untrusted inputs
Developers often presume that inputs like cookies, environment variables and hidden form fields cannot get modified. However, these inputs can get modified by an attacker. When security techniques like authentication and authorization lean on these inputs, attackers can easily bypass the security layers that create harm to the business and users.
Vital Steps in Mobile App Security
- Secure database
So, what is required to ensure database security? Encrypt your storage and enforce well-defined data access to prevent data loss or leakage. Developers should store user databases, credentials and other critical details or information in a fastened place, whether it is a device or a cloud-based server.
- Secure source code
Your codebase requires ultimate protection. Developers should consider a security-integrated code development so that hackers cannot access or decipher it with diverse methods like de-obfuscation. For instance, Android has a built-in feature – Pro-Guard, turning codes into rambling characters. Android is an open-source platform and is more inclined to cyber-attacks. Hence developers should ensure secure source code to prevent code alterations by attackers.
- Secure data flow
Data transmission should be safe and concealed by using encryption techniques. If encryption-decryption algorithms are feeble, hackers could easily decrypt them and leave the app information unboxed. In order to prevent snoopers, packet sniffers and MITM attacks, you require robust cryptographic techniques.
Input validation tests help prevent malformed data from binding to the app database. Leveraging and customizing such validations already available in most mobile frameworks can be good enough. Likewise, data portability is a concept to safeguard users from having their data stored in silos/walled gardens that conflict or are incompatible with one another.
These activities help developers to achieve comprehensive data protection and to add user privacy and authentication from the initial phase. Sign-up procedures also turn more user-friendly while improving user experience and satisfaction.
- Run periodic pen tests
Penetration testing is a process where malware gets imitated on your device and checks for any existing exploitable defects or vulnerabilities. Pen tests improve deployed security control’s resilience and bolster your mobile application security architecture.
Ensure testing your code for any sensitivity to injection attacks. Prior to launching your mobile application, adapt and modify your WAF security policies and patch the bugs. Make it a custom to assess or evaluate the previously written code to identify flaws and implement improvements.
- Use high-level authentication
A security token help authenticate the identity of a person electronically by storing some personal information type. Mobile application developers use these tokens to monitor their user sessions efficiently, and they can be either approved or withdrawn.
Mobile phones are an inevitable part of our everyday lives, and many undervalue the information stored on these devices. Your smartphone could contain much data from social media attributes to banking information and many other critical details. Even though VPNs and antivirus protections are available, if the app gets invaded by hackers or infected, users will still be susceptible to cyber threats. So, while developing mobile applications, owners and developers should ensure that the app does not leave users exposed to malicious attacks or data breaches.
Investing in mobile application security help protect the app and the data within. Both mobile app developers and app owners should prioritize an optimum level of protection and data privacy in the app for their users. ValueMentor is one of the trusted names when it comes to mobile app security testing, bearing proven mobile application security testing tools, techniques, and skilful expertise. Having more to discuss and understand, leap to our service page, and have a quick call with our mobile app security specialists now.
Any business or person should consider using complex passwords over fragile ones. While developing an application, it should have specifications to accept only medium to strong passwords with alphanumeric characters. Also, these passwords must be changed/renewed periodically.
Using One Time Password is another authentication technique valid only for one login session on a device or system. You can add it to make sign-ups safer. Meanwhile, two-factor verification adds an extra layer of encryption that makes your mobile app even more secure. Other authentication methods can include biometric scans such as fingerprint or retina scans.
Consult our cyber security specialists
We can help you optimize cyber security. ValueMentor, with a full-fledged Mobile App Security Testing team, is ever-ready to handhold you with a holistic and proactive security approach. Have a concealed security ring around your business, helping you alleviate risks, enhance security and meet compliance with various regulations. Get your customized consultation and security advice.
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