The balance between mobile security and user experience is a key concern for many businesses that are entering the mobile market. Security teams are building security features, while mobile app developers are implementing them, but there are some inherent differences in how these features may be implemented.
This article highlights six advantages of boosting mobile application security with an extensive range of traditional security testing services as well as new approaches, such as static analysis tools or source code review.
1) Protect User Privacy
As more consumers choose to use smartphones and tablets over traditional computing devices, it becomes increasingly important for companies to protect consumer privacy on mobile devices. Protecting user data will not only build trust among customers but also allow consumers to feel safe sharing personal information via their mobile device—which they do frequently.
Having user data compromised because of an app transmitting the data unencrypted could damage a company’s reputation. Organizations should conduct security tests on their apps to find places where sensitive information, such as names, passwords, and account numbers, is transmitted without encryption.
2) Detect Data Leaks
It has become common for software applications to send data across the Internet or other networks in order to access remote services or resources. While this can be very useful for users, it also allows attackers the opportunity to capture the network traffic and extract confidential data that was intended to remain private. Some of this data might include personally identifiable information (PII), payment card information (PCI), intellectual property (IP), or simply sensitive communications between people!
It is essential to verify that the data being transmitted from the mobile device across networks is encrypted. The app should not store sensitive information on the local storage of a mobile device either, as this may allow an attacker to access it by rooting or jailbreaking a device.
3) Protect Data at Rest
The “data at rest” protection is related to encryption and refers to files and databases that are stored on disk or another form of non-volatile memory. Applications must prevent attackers from accessing data that is left unencrypted on a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, USB disk, etc. It’s very easy for someone with physical access (or who has rooted/jailbroken a phone) to simply copy all files from an Android or iOS device, but the app must prevent this from happening.
4) Protect Data in Transit
Protecting data “in transit” refers to encrypting any information that is being sent across a network between two systems, such as e-mail messages, web browser cookies and other transmitted data. Users should be sure that the application only communicates with its servers via HTTPS or another secure protocol (e.g., VPN). An attacker might try to capture information during transmission by using a Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attack and it’s crucial for apps to ensure proper authentication of all communications partners and encryption of the transmitted data!
5) Prevent Credential Theft on Compromised Phones and Tablets
Passwords and authentication tokens, which are used by many apps in the background to authenticate users and gain access to remote services, must be stored securely. A sophisticated attacker who has physical access to a mobile device may jailbreak it or root it in order to steal authentication credentials from an app.
The best protection against this attack is using cryptographic libraries that store all sensitive data in a protected area of memory (e.g., a secure vault) and limit this data’s use only when the app is initialized with the proper password or authentication token.
6) Prevent Attacks on Weak Server-Side Controls
In recent years, there has been an increase in cyberattacks aimed at poorly designed server-side APIs with vulnerabilities such as SQL injection , cross-site scripting (XSS), command injection , and buffer overflows that allow attackers to gain unauthorized access.
An application should have a secure server-side component as well as protecting communications with APIs over the Internet by using HTTPS. In addition, it’s essential for users to avoid downloading apps from unsafe sources as these can easily transmit sensitive data without encryption!