Mobile Application Security
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Because of this, it is pretty much impossible to make certain assumptions about the underlying security of a mobile device or the application mix being used on that device. So how do we secure the mobile work force in the age of BYOD? What follows is a framework to address the creation, deployment and execution of secure mobile applications, thus reducing the business exposure associated with enterprise mobility.
Mobile malware often taps vulnerabilities or bugs in the design and coding of the mobile applications they target. Recent research from Kindsight reported by Infosecurity shows that malicious code is infecting more than Even before a vulnerability is exploited, attackers can obtain a public copy of an application and reverse engineer it. Enterprises should look for tools to aid their developers to detect and close security vulnerabilities and then harden their applications against reverse engineering and tampering.
Jailbroken or rooted devices or the presence of rogue applications can represent an execution risk that may be allowed for certain enterprise apps but not for others. Enterprises should look into ways to dynamically gauge the security of the underlying device. First, the mobile app sandbox, which is prevalent in modern mobile operating system design, must be intact. Rooting or jailbreaking the device breaks the underlying security model, and it is highly recommended to restrict these devices from accessing enterprise data.
Mobile Application Security Testing
Furthermore, jailbreak technology is evolving rapidly to evade detection; coping with these mechanisms is essential to keeping up with these threats. Excessive use of permissions to the mobile applications — which are granted by the user, often by default — can provide malware and rogue applications access to basic services e.
Enterprises should consider up-to-date intelligence sources and application reputation services to track the tidal wave of applications — and their associated risk — as they enter mobile app stores on a daily basis. Using this data, application capabilities could be enabled or disabled based on the device risk profile. When mobile applications access enterprise data, documents and unstructured information are often stored on the device. If the device is lost or when data is shared with nonenterprise applications, the potential for data loss is heightened.
Mobile data encryption can be used to secure data within the application sandbox against malware and other forms of criminal access. To control application data sharing on the device, individual data elements should be encrypted and controlled. Because mobile applications enable users to transact with enterprise services on the go, the risk tolerance for transactions will vary.
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So, even if the data is stolen, the hackers cannot decrypt it, and it is of no use to them. Try to develop an app in such a way that all the data included in the app is encrypted very well — this is one of the practices. Oftentimes, the mobile app code needs third party libraries for the code building. Do not trust any library for your app building, as most of them are not secure. When you have used various kinds of libraries, always try to test the code.
The flaws in the library can allow the attackers to use malicious code and crash the system. Always remember to use authorized APIs in your app code. It always gives hackers the privilege to use your information.
Mobile Application Security | Synopsys
For example, authorization information caches can be used by the hackers to gain authentication on the system. Experts recommend having a central authorization for the entire API to gain maximum security in the mobile applications. Authentication mechanisms are the most crucial part of the mobile application security. Weak authentication is one of the top vulnerabilities in the mobile apps.
As a developer and a user, authentication should be considered important from a security point-of-view. One of the most common modes of authentication is through password, so password policy should be strong enough that it cannot be broken easily. Multi-factor authentication is one more method to make your app more secure. This can be achieved by the means of OTP login or authentication code on emails — this can be even more secure through biometrics. This method is to get alerts when your code is being modified or changed. Often, it is essential to have a log of code changes of your mobile app so that a malicious programmer does not inject bad code into your application.
Try to have triggers designed for your application to keep logs of activities. The principle of least privilege is often necessary for your app code security. It is preferable to give access to the code to only those who are intended to receive them, and the rest should not be given the privileges, keeping it minimum. Try to keep the network as little as possible. Session handling is an important feature of in-app building, which needs extra precaution as the sessions on mobile are usually longer than the desktop session.
Hence, session management should be done to maintain the security in case of stolen and lost devices, and it should be done with the help of tokens rather than identifiers. The app should also have a facility of remote wipe off and log off to protect data of lost devices. Key management is an important step when it comes to encryption of your data, so make sure that you do not hardcore your encryption keys.
What is Mobile App Security? (Including 8 Application Security Tips)
Use the latest and trusted encryption methods. A very simple solution for the app is to test repeatedly for the new changes as security aspects are changing day-by-day.
You need to be updated with the security trends in order to protect your application. You should opt for penetration testing and emulators to get an idea about the vulnerabilities in your mobile application so that they can be further reduced.
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Try to make use of the security patches in your mobile application with each of the new updates and versions released. These were some of the best practices that a mobile app developer must follow in order to have a fully secure and difficult-to-crack application. In the near future, security will act as one of the differentiating and competing innovations in the app world, with customers preferring secure apps to maintain the privacy of their data over other mobile applications.
Published at DZone with permission of Nitesh Behani. See the original article here.