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Mobile App Security Insights

Mobile Application Security: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Jul 21, 2017 2:00:00 PM / by Sung Cho

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Building a mobile application is a long and arduous process, we know. Between designing the concept and tools of your app and developing the code itself, there’s so much work that goes into such a project before a launch ever occurs. Yet, despite the fact that it ultimately results in adding even more lead time to your app, we cannot stress enough the vital role that mobile application security plays in your app’s long-term prospects.

Nowadays, hackers are as large a looming threat as ever before, and you cannot afford to overlook the very real risks that the absence of a strong security system opens up. Although security may prove to be an additional expense, the benefits of developing your app with precautionary measures cannot be underestimated. Let’s delve a bit more into some of the key takeaways regarding mobile application security.

The Good

When it comes to security for your mobile app, the good news is that help is definitely out there for those who wish to seek it out. From open-source solutions to automation, many software systems have arisen to provide developers with plenty of options to choose from regarding the tools they use to empower their team to combat and monitor any incoming threats or vulnerabilities. AppSolid itself is proud to contribute to this growing trend of companies offering this much-needed service.

Moreover, proactive developers can opt to keep a close eye on the industry as a whole by keeping tabs on the recognized security standards, which can provide invaluable insight into how they can best prepare for cyber-attacks and keep their app safe from hackers and other troublemakers. Organizations such as the Open Web Application Security Project serve as a guiding hand for developers interested in staying on the cutting edge of app security.

Between all the tools and resources readily available, developers are more equipped today to create a strong defense against hackers, lending a silver lining to the gloom and doom that a potential data leak understandably brings. By staying plugged into such assets, you can employ strategic methods and best practices to keep your app ready for anything that may come its way.

The Bad

No matter how much you aim to prevent a cyber-attack, chances are that you will wind up facing one eventually. This is where the dark side of mobile application security comes in, through the sheer omnipresence of the nefarious forces looking to crack your code. Viruses, worms, Trojan horses and all manner of malicious code are just a few of the dangerous threats you’ll encounter as you conduct business as usual on your app. So it’s critical to stay abreast of them in order to secure your app.

In addition, beware any action -- or lack thereof -- which may leave your app open to attack. Unencrypted data is perhaps the most easily preventable example of this, and you should be sure to take action to strengthen your source code, data storage and access management to  combat malware in all its forms and protect your app from reverse engineering, one of the biggest threats out there. Without taking action, the dark external forces will almost certainly invade and exploit your app. Don’t allow persistent hackers to tamper with your work.

The Ugly

Even though hackers can break into your app via any number of risk factors and vulnerabilities, the ugly truth behind it all is that when such an attack does occur, you might not be able to find your way back. After all, not all damage is reversible. Sure, the loss of sensitive data and potential hijacking of your app may mean that you’ll lose out on the opportunity to reap the benefits of the app’s lengthy development process. However, you also may find yourself unable to recover from the damage done to your business reputation in the eyes of both customers who once trusted you and search engines who will no longer make your site a priority.

Despite the high price for not establishing strong security, 98 percent of mobile apps fail to do so, leaving many of them doomed on some level. It may be a sad reality to face, but even the best anti-hacking software in the world may not be enough to save your mobile app if it is not accompanied by diligence, guidance and a ton of ingenuity. To avoid the harsh aftermath of an attack, don’t sell your app short. Do everything you need to do to encompass all the possibilities, and you’ll be far better off.

Choose Your Path

With any luck, the above points have helped to convince you of the necessity for a security system. It seems that large-scales cyber-security breaches like the recent one involving OneLogin are happening all the time, and as your competitors evolve stronger, more fortified methods of defense against hackers, you need to be doing the same, lest you suffer the same level of irreparable damage that a data leak can inflict on your business.

So many tools and resources are at your disposal that there truly is no reason why you cannot take action today to improve your mobile application security. Now that we’ve discussed some of the risks and pitfalls involved, consider yourself forewarned of the consequences that not safeguarding your app’s code may bring. You owe it to yourself, your team and your users to ensure that any activity on your app remains firmly out of reach of those with malicious intent.

The-Developers-Guide-To-Mobile-App-Security

Topics: Mobile App Security, Hacking Threats

Sung Cho

Written by Sung Cho

Head of Marketing at SEWORKS Co., Ltd.