Mobile app security is an issue that has given sleepless nights to even enterprise-level organizations in the last few years. With the advancement of technology, the risk or threats to mobile application security have increased immensely.
These are some numbers related to mobile app security:
- According to a survey conducted by Verizon in 2020, 43% of organizations have compromised their mobile app security.
- As per a report by McAfee, malicious apps were the primary cause of mobile application security threats in the last couple of years.
- According to a mobile security report 2021 by Checkpoint, 40% of the world’s mobile devices are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
All these numbers indicate the need to know more about mobile app security risks or threats. So, let’s explore 15 of the most significant risks to mobile app security.
1. Fragile Server Side Settings
As you know, any communication between the user and application happens through a server. So, many hackers tried to attack the server to breach the mobile app’s security. In this scenario, if you have a fragile server-side setting in place, you’re risking the app’s security. Therefore, you need to consider the fundamental server-side security; otherwise, it could be a total disaster.
2. Absence of Binary Protection
Binary protection is one of the techniques that security experts implement to fix your mobile application’s vulnerability. However, if you have no binary protection, the attacker can reverse engineer your application code to inject any malicious code. This can result in serious data theft, fraud, trust damage, and revenue loss for any organization across the globe.
3. Lack of Data Storage Security
When you’re accessing any mobile application, you’re dealing with a lot of important business data. That’s why it becomes essential to protect those data, and the firms that don’t give importance to this aspect invite the risk of a cyberattack. The attacker can easily access and manipulate this data and cause identity theft, reputation damage, and external policy violation.
4. Insecure Transport Layer
The transport layer is one of the most critical components for establishing communication between the app and the user. So, if the transport layer hasn’t had sufficient protection, the outside can intrude into that layer and access sensitive information. Nowadays, organizations use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) to plugin these gaps.
5. Data Leakage
Data leakage is one of the most significant issues mobile app developers face in today’s day and age. Here, we’re referring to the unintentional data leakage that happens due to data storage in a location that is easily accessible to an outsider. This will result in a breach of user privacy, leading to unauthorized access of the data, which is a real danger sign for all users.
6. Substandard Authentication and Authorization
Authentication and authorization are some of the most fundamental elements of any mobile app security. If you make this basic mistake of not ensuring your application, it will give attackers a freeway to access your backend server. In addition to this, you should prioritize offline authentication and authorization as all mobile devices are not always connected to the internet.
7. Error in Cryptography Implementation
Most mobile app development services nowadays utilize cryptography to secure their application data and code. However, if there is an error in implementing cryptography, it can invite some serious security threats. Any missing link in the cryptography implementation gives a chance to the attacker to view and manipulate your precious data, which can be catastrophic.
8. Improper Handling of Session
Session handling is one of the most critical aspects of any mobile application development. If you stretch a particular session for a very long period even when the user is not accessing your app, it can invite malicious attacks. Keeping the session short and sharp is essential for security purposes, and that’s why you will see most banking sites following these practices.
9. Code Injection
Code injection is a technique of gaining unauthorized access to your application by adding malicious code to your database. This can result in massive issues like denial of access, data loss or corruption, and in some cases, a total takeover. However, the biggest fear for mobile app developers is that these attacks are not that difficult to execute and don’t require any expertise.
10. Absence of API Protection
In today’s day and age, you must have seen many mobile applications providing you complex functionalities with utmost ease, and APIs have a role to play in it. However, the issue with APIs is that they contain complex structures and are very difficult to perform security testing. So, when unprotected APIs are in play, there’s a chance of a security breach or a significant threat.
11. Remote Working Vulnerabilities
We’re living in the era of globalization where you’re working with people located across the globe. Each team member will access the database or any code via remote access in this remote working culture. This can create a chance for security breaches as multiple people access the same data from different locations. In addition, attackers can easily change the data.
12. Continuing with Vulnerable Components
You must know about forums or open-source channels that publish security threats if you’re someone from the mobile app development industry. Now, you know one of such vulnerabilities in your application, but continue using the same version. This kind of scenario can invite unauthorized access that can exploit the mobile application’s sensitive data.
13. Cross-Side Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Side Scripting (XSS) happens when an attacker places a snippet of code in the public pages of your website or web application. Through this script, the hacker can access your app and make changes like modifying sensitive data or redirecting users to malicious websites. Creating multiple levels of validation for the user inputs is one of the best ways to deal with it.
14. Improper Platform Usage
Before starting the app development process, each mobile app developer needs to know the platform, i.e., iOS, Android, or Windows. If this is not the case and you start the app development process, you have no idea about security implementations. This means you’re losing out on the battle even before starting the fight against security threats.
15. Network Spoofing
Network spoofing means the hacker sets up fake access points that free wi-fi access to ordinary users. The hacker will also keep a name like “free airport wi-fi” or “enjoy free access” that invites more and more users into the network and traps them. In this manner, they can access mobile devices and churn out users’ critical information, which can cause significant damage.
Achieving mobile app security in this day and age is becoming more and more difficult for developers. There can’t be a fully secure application in this day and age with the rise of new threats on a day-to-day basis. However, you can make sure that you have knowledge about which things can cause major security threats. Here, we have discussed 15 of those security threats, which will help you a lot.