What is Mobile App Security, Vulnerabilities and Common Threats?

April 3, 2022


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Recent research has shown that presence on mobile for many organizations is a priority these days. With so many apps available at the fingertips of people, security and protection from malware become paramount. So, mobile app security can be shielding high-value mobile applications and your digital identity from fraudulent attacks in all their forms. This includes tampering, reverse engineering, malware, keyloggers, and other forms of manipulation or interference. Then, mobile app security protects you from key threat actors and provides an additional layer of security for your mobile apps.

All popular mobile app building programs are today offering security controls. That helps developers to build secure & safe mobile apps. However, there are so many options available for the developer to choose from that it can get quite confusing. A lack of thorough knowledge about all those security features and experience in this domain. Hence, this can result in coming up with a lackluster application.


Some of The Common Threats Affecting Mobile Security Include

  • Mobile App security threats 

Mobile app security threats happen when people download apps. That look legitimate but are in-fact malware or spyware that takes over the data of the mobile. Some of the known examples of such malware/spyware stealing business data from a person’s phone are quite common.

  • Web-based mobile security threats

 Such threats are quite subtle in nature and affect the user when they visit a website that looks ok on the front-end but in reality, is malicious and automatically downloads malicious content to the mobile device used to visit that particular website.

  • Mobile network security threats

 Network-based security threats are quite dangerous as cybercriminals may target to steal user data (that is unencrypted) when the user logs into a public wi-fi network.

  • Transmission of sensitive data

Transmission of sensitive data over the internet without proper encryption methods or using data encryption methods that are easy to target by malicious apps or hackers.

All these threats are quite serious and can be exploited by hackers to their advantage.


How to Mitigate Mobile App Security Threats?

There are several steps that an organization can take to overcome the threats posed by malicious users or software; thorough mobile app testing is one such step. It can be seen as a pre-production quality check to ensure it is solving the purpose it is built for. Also, it helps developers to run tests and anticipate scenarios that they might not have considered while building an app.

Some of the crucial steps in testing include:

  • Mobile App Security Testing 

This process involves coming up with ways to test a mobile app keeping all vulnerable test case scenarios in mind (that a hacker might try to exploit). A potent mobile app security testing starts by understanding the purpose of the app and its use case scenario. Based on understanding the purpose of the app, a host of several analyses like static analysis, dynamic analysis, and penetration testing is carried out for the holistic assessment to find vulnerabilities in an app.

  • Static Analysis 

This comes in handy to pinpoint the exact security shortcomings of a decompiled code.

  • Dynamic Analysis 

This along with penetration testing evaluates how effective the security controls that are built in an app are.

  • Hybrid Testing 

This technique involves combining two or more testing methods for a deep inspection of the app in question.

Performing a thorough security check on an app will also help to understand the app’s behavior in a much better way, what are the distress points, how it handles, stores and shares data. This lets you deep dive into application code and reviews security issues in decompiled application code. All of this together helps identify threats and security vulnerabilities before they turn into risks.


Step by Step Strategizing of Security Process

It is of utmost importance to consider app security from the get-go. One needs to proactively look for monitoring and assess the security policies and methods put in place. A strong and reliable security process is obtained from ongoing efforts as well as by dedicating a considerable amount of time to building those processes. It is important to be patient in developing these security processes since not one strategy fits all.

Securing your mobile app from vulnerabilities, security threats and cyber attacks do seem like a lot of work. In order to maintain a clean code that minimizes the internal vulnerabilities against external threats, there is a lot of testing that needs to do to protect the app. Considering all of this, it’s no surprise that most businesses find it challenging to put in the time and resources necessary to secure their apps completely. If you are one of those companies then perhaps investing in outsourcing a reliable app development company or even hiring a mobile security agency can turn out to be a good deal.

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