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TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR SECURING MOBILE APPLICATIONS AGAINST THREATS

People’s lives would be impossible without smartphones and mobile apps. You can play games, make travel reservations, interact with others, and make grocery purchases with the help of mobile apps. Any security failure from a mobile app can lead to unauthorized access, fraud, data theft, and intellectual property theft.

As per IBM, the average expense incurred worldwide in 2023 due to a data breach was $4.45 million, signifying a 15.3% surge from 2020. In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that this amount will rise to $5 million. So, it becomes an absolute necessity to secure the mobile app against threats. To help you, here are some important Tips and Strategies for Securing Mobile Applications:

Importance of Mobile App Security

There is a growing risk of security breaches in parallel with the growth of mobile apps. A security breach in a app can lead to users’ and businesses’ financial losses, illegal access, and data leaks. This makes mobile app security an increasingly important topic.

App demand is growing, but users are also growing more conscious of security concerns. Stricter security measures are obviously needed, as more individuals are using apps to conduct important transactions, including banking or shopping.

Common Threats to Mobile Applications 

Cybercriminals have turned their focus to mobile devices as they grow more and more significant. This has resulted in increase in cyber threats.  

  • Malicious Apps and Websites 

Mobile devices have internet connections and software, much like desktop computers. Malicious websites and mobile malware, or malicious apps, can use mobile devices to carry out the same tasks as desktop computers, such as data encryption and theft. There are many unique types of malicious applications. The most important among them are trojans that perform ad and click scams. 

  • Mobile Ransomware

A specific kind of mobile virus, mobile ransomware, has become increasingly prevalent and harmful due to the growing use of mobile devices for corporate purposes. When files on a mobile device are encrypted by mobile ransomware, access to the encrypted data can be restored by paying a ransom for the decryption key. 

  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks 

Attackers that intercept network connections to spy on or alter the data being transmitted are known as man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. Although various systems may be vulnerable to this kind of attack, mobile devices are particularly vulnerable to MitM attacks. SMS texts are easily interceptable, and mobile applications can transmit potentially sensitive data through unencrypted HTTP, in contrast to web traffic, which typically uses encrypted HTTPS. 

Tips for Securing Mobile Applications

Mobile app security can be significantly improved by implementing the following Tips and Strategies for Securing Mobile Applications:

  • Improve the Security of User Authentication

Stronger mobile app access controls need to include more methods for user identity verification. Look for an authentication server solution that accommodates various methods of implementing password security and two-factor authentication (2FA). Your techniques for authentication can be based on the degree of sensitivity of the application’s data and a reputational damage a breach can make.

  • Secure Software Supply Chain

Third-party components are a part of the software supply chain for mobile applications. Mobile app developers must exercise caution while selecting libraries and frameworks. You need open-source projects that are reputable, maintained, and free. 

  • Support Integration with MAM and MDM 

To reduce risks associated to devices and apps, more and more businesses are using MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile app management) solutions. Companies can build business app stores, wrap staff apps behind several security layers, remove app and device data remotely, and more with the help of MDM and MAM.

  • Apply the Least Privilege Concept

An application’s attack surface is greatly increased when it requests more permissions than necessary, thereby exposing sensitive user data unnecessarily. Developers need to handle permissions with greater caution, ensuring that only individuals who require access to carry out their duties are granted permission.

  • Modify Your Testing Methodology

Changing from periodic tests to a continuous testing technique is best to adjust your testing strategy. As a result, developers won’t perform tests at set intervals but rather continuously. Use automated testing and threat modeling to continuously search for vulnerabilities that could expose your app users to a cyberattack. 

Future Trends in Mobile App Security

Here are some of the future trends in mobile app security: 

  • Attacks Using AI in Mobile Apps Are Growing

Companies need to be aware of how AI is used for both defensive strategies and malicious attacks as its impact grows. Using machine learning algorithms to track user activity and create attacks like code injections or customized phishing campaigns is becoming increasingly widespread.

  • Increased Phishing Attacks Using Mobile Apps

Phishing attacks can be particularly appealing in mobile app environments. To deceive users into disclosing login credentials or personal information, attackers often send spam emails, SMS texts, or app notifications. These days, as machines and artificial intelligence grow more sophisticated, hackers will have greater luck coming users out of passwords with deep fakes. 

  • Enhanced Risks to Supply Chains for Mobile Applications

For essential services, such as mobile apps, almost 78% of businesses rely on third-party resources. Attackers are using the vulnerabilities of distribution, build, and development processes more frequently. Cybercriminals now view the software supply chain as a prime target. 

Final thoughts

One cannot become knowledgeable about every potential security issue associated with mobile apps. Still, you may protect your mobile apps from the most serious security dangers by reading this guide on Tips and Strategies for Securing Mobile Applications. You can stay ahead of attacks by keeping your app updated with the most recent security fixes. 

FAQs

  • Why prioritize mobile app security?

Prioritize securing the mobile app to avoid security issues like data theft, financial loss, IP theft, and reputational harm.

  • How does mobile app security function?

It actively detects, prevents, and reports attacks, potentially shutting down apps to stop any security breaches.

  • What is mobile app tampering?

Mobile app tampering is done when malicious users modify apps to exploit vulnerabilities, aiming for fraud or broader attacks.

  • What does mobile app threat monitoring mean?

Mobile app threat monitoring involves monitoring for tampering, unauthorized API requests, bot activity, and code alterations.

  • Is mobile app security vital for all platforms?

Yes, threats exist on both Android and iOS (Even though it has higher security features compared to Android), so robust security measures are required regardless of platform.

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