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Mobile App Security Insights

Mobile App Security Standards To Be Aware Of

Jun 1, 2017 9:58:41 AM / by Sung Cho

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Mobile app security continues to be a hot-button topic. Many developers are continually scrambling to keep up with the changing tactics of hackers, and the mission to fortify their apps against attack has never seemed as challenging or as important as it does now. In fact, many app developers are so burdened by the significance of ensuring that their security is top-notch that they simply don’t know where to start.

Thankfully, the age of technology we’re currently enjoying means that there’s a ton of useful information out there regarding how to equip your app with the most sophisticated and effective security measures. In fact, as mobile technology has evolved, a number of organizations have risen to share their know-how regarding app security, including the biggest risks out there. Here are a few security standards that you need to keep an eye on to stay updated on the latest vulnerabilities.

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP)

This international organization’s mission is “enabling organizations to conceive, develop, acquire, operate, and maintain applications that can be trusted.” As such, security falls firmly within its scope, and OWASP is among the most respected voices in application security, providing tools, documents and countless venues for those inside and outside the industry to strive for continuous improvement.

One of the most impactful ways OWASP does just that is through its annual Mobile Top 10, a list which outlines the most dangerous application security vulnerabilities out there. This list -- along with other OWASP resources, naturally -- should be a key standard for developers and others within the mobile space. The organization approaches security in an effective and broad way, tackling it from all angles and positively forging ahead with a solution-based problem-solving attitude.

Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

While OWASP may be a more recognizable resource, this one shouldn’t be underestimated. Tapping into the ever-increasing mobile community, the CWE is a list of common software security weaknesses that is used by many industry professionals to stay on top of hackers’ latest methodology and take action accordingly to minimize or prevent their damage entirely.

Through the CWE list, developers can gauge how well protected their software is and use it to determine what weaknesses still need to be addressed. They say there’s strength in numbers, and the community-based discourse facilitated by the CWE certainly takes advantage of the cumulative knowledge of those within the mobile space, with an eye on improved performance.

The National Information Assurance Partnership

With any mission as imperative as mobile security, it’s essential to have some common criteria in place for evaluation purposes. There’s where the NIAP comes in, as the organization implements the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation for the United States through its management of the NIAP Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS) validation body.

This national program helps develop protection measures, evaluation methodologies and other policies to create reliable testing requirements that are then analyzed at the Common Criteria Testing Laboratories. Through a system of collaboration, the NIAP works with NATO and international standards bodies to share Common Criteria and prevent redundancy, maximizing its chances of progress.

In the process, the NIAP develops innovative ways to ensure that applications are able to have a clear picture of where they stand security-wise and develop solutions to safeguard their app and its sensitive data from hackers and other malicious users.

Raise the Standards

Even if you’ve been a bit lax on your app’s security, it’s never too late to step up your game and read up on the latest goings-on within that space. The above security standards will be able to provide you with some initial guidance to bring your app up to speed with the most recent risks and vulnerabilities, and in no time, you’ll be ready to deliver the premium experience your users expect and deserve.

We understand that discussing matters as sensitive as security is never easy. The fact that your mobile application could so readily fall prey to a cyber-attack is never going to be a comfortable revelation to address. Yet, by educating yourself and taking necessary measures to protect your app and your users, you’ll be that much more prepared to take the steps you need to keep hackers at bay going forward. Never allow your hard work to be used against you or your users to be violated. They’re counting on you.

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Topics: Mobile App Security, Mobile Security

Sung Cho

Written by Sung Cho

Head of Marketing at SEWORKS Co., Ltd.