Everything You Should Know About Mobile App Security Testing

Jan 03, 2023 | 42Gears Team

In 2021, SHAREit, one of the most widely used file-sharing apps, encountered criticism from a number of users, according to a report published by the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro. This is because numerous unpatched vulnerabilities were detected after the app had been downloaded more than 1 billion times from the Google Play Store. The application could have been exploited by hackers, and sensitive data could have been leaked using arbitrary codes.

This incident sheds light on the fact that mobile app security testing can’t be an afterthought. It is important for all software vendors to make sure that the application they are delivering to users is secure. How? By developing an app with security in mind and, of course, thoroughly testing it before launch.

In this article, we’ll walk you through every aspect of mobile app security testing.

Why do you need to secure your mobile application?

Since the pandemic, both the number of organizations adopting a remote work culture and the frequency of cyberattacks have doubled. Many organizations weren't prepared for the quick shift to remote work and lacked adequate cybersecurity protection. And neither were employees aware or trained about the cybersecurity issues associated with mobile devices and applications. These loopholes gave cybercriminals an opportunity to hack mobile applications and steal confidential information.

Now, let’s see what happens if an application is launched without the required application security.

Compromised Login Information

Hackers target both corporations and individuals. So, both are at a risk of having their login credentials compromised. According to reports by CNN Business, nearly half of American adults have been victims of personal data breaches.

Even inexperienced hackers can obtain login credentials in a variety of ways. The most common way is to use cookies to decrypt the login information. A piece of malicious code written by hackers steals cookies from the app and mobile browsers and gives them access to user accounts. As a result, the hackers are able to change the login information and steal financial data while acting in the user's name.

Diminished Growth Resources

It's difficult to win back customers' trust while resuming operations after a hacking attack. This serious setback can push companies to go bankrupt. Even if an app only sustains minor damage as a result of the attack, rebuilding the affected area could be extremely expensive for businesses. Hence, preventing a security breach is far cheaper than fixing it.

Regulatory fines

It’s imperative for organizations that serve customers in the regions covered by the GDPR or other regulations to abide by the applicable laws. Failing to abide by the regulations may cause security incidents, which in turn can lead to the imposition of regulatory fines. 

While these security incidents can make you uncomfortable, many of them can be prevented. But in order to understand how to protect your mobile app, you must first understand the kinds of threats it might be vulnerable to.

Key Areas to Protect in Mobile App Security

Secure Your Platform Usage

Mobile platforms have powerful and user-friendly features and capabilities, such as TouchID and access control. If those features don’t work as intended, they can be misused, and this can result in a security violation.

Fortify Data Storage

Organizations have to be careful while storing sensitive data on their computers, storage devices, websites, and in the cloud. Even though stored data is important for business functions, it can also be a liability if left unprotected. Without strong data protection policies and measures in place, confidential data could be compromised by hackers who could access your network and steal the personal data of your clients or employees.

Communicate on Secured Lines

Business communication includes all aspects of transferring data from point A to point B. It could be through mobile communication technologies such as GSM, TCP/IP, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, SMS, etc., or a TLS connection. During this transmission, there is a high possibility that data can be leaked through a man-in-the-middle attack or even simple eavesdropping.

Insecure Authentication and Authorization

If an app stores passwords and secret keys on its user’s device, it could be prone to attack. The same goes for using poor password policies. 

Client Code Quality

On the device side, there can be a number of vulnerabilities brought about by various code-level errors. If the application is not thoroughly tested, it may be compromised or subject to code tampering. Cybercriminals can modify the code, replace APIs, change data or resources, and more.  

You must be aware of the common methods for testing mobile applications now that you are aware of the main areas that hackers frequently target.

Types of Software Security Testing

Typically, organizations follow two methods to perform security testing. One of them is standard testing, which is done at the end of the application development cycle. The other is end-to-end software development life cycle (SDLC) testing, in which the security requirements are noted and the security testing is done throughout the entire development cycle.

Secure Your Mobile Applications with 42Gears’ Astrofarm

When there are mobile devices with various operating systems scattered throughout different locations, testing mobile applications can be difficult. When you want to test a mobile application on a certain device, you should know about the status and security of the device. If you buy, rent, and transport devices, you will have to pay an exorbitant rental fee every month.

AstroFarm by 42Gears can help you build a secure, virtual platform where all devices can be brought together for software development and testing, regardless of their physical location. The platform enables testing and DevOps teams to perform various testing and development-related tasks remotely from any location at any time. This results in increased productivity and optimized device usage.

Build Your Own Private Mobile App Testing Lab

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