A priority for 2022: automated mobile application security testing

The use of mobile devices has exploded over the past two years and with it the market for mobile applications. Mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023.

Unfortunately, areas with growth potential often attract the attention of threat actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities for financial gain. That’s why mobile app security has become a critical area of ​​focus across all industries, especially if the organization has an app that contains valuable intellectual property (IP) or transmits sensitive data.

Implementing security measures throughout the app development process and continuously monitoring the app once it’s released into the wild is what ultimately keeps your app safe. mobile app and your business.

Mobile app security testing will be a priority for any organization with a mobile app in 2022. To understand why, let’s look at the typical security threats that mobile apps face and the impact these threats can have on an organization. .

Mobile App Security Threats

Mobile apps are susceptible to some unique threats.

Consider, for example, the MATE (man-at-the-end) attack vector. An attacker can sideload a mobile app on their local device and then use specialized tools and resources to inspect and reverse engineer the app. This gives them access to the “secret sauce” of how the app works.

Other mobile application security vulnerabilities include insecure data storage, security misconfigurations, and insecure communication, all of which align with OWASP’s list of top 10 mobile risks. Without multiple layers of protection, your app can easily fall victim to various threats.

While mobile app security threats can vary in severity and sophistication, the result is often the same: data leakage, IP theft, loss of revenue, and loss of customer trust. That’s why mobile app security should be a priority at every stage of the mobile app development lifecycle.

Enter Mobile Application Security Testing

When mobile app security includes frequent testing for real feedback, mobile app developers are better prepared to identify and mitigate mobile app security threats and vulnerabilities.

Mobile application security testing is the process of analyzing your application to identify potential security issues that could impact your mobile application. While specific application scanning needs may vary, whether driven by compliance or in response to a security incident, the goal is to effectively harden the application and mitigate risk.

There are two ways to think about testing an application: static analysis and dynamic analysis. Although the two are uniquely effective, when combined they can significantly increase the security of your mobile application.

Why Penetration Testing Won’t Be Enough

Traditionally, mobile teams have relied on pentesting as their preferred form of mobile app testing. While this is an effective approach to security assessment – pentesting can identify the lack of code hardening and tamper protection – it doesn’t always work in the fast-paced world of software development. mobile apps.

Pentesting is expensive and slow. Results are usually shared with the development team outside of the actual software development process, sometimes months later. This often forces the organization to make a difficult decision: is it more important to release the application on time or to address identified risks?

If the risk is determined to be manageable, feedback may not be implemented. But if the risk is high enough, development teams will have to drop everything to fix it, which will have a ripple effect on the development and release of new app features. It’s easy to see how this process can pit security teams against mobile app development teams.

This also underscores the importance of identifying and selecting a security testing tool designed specifically for mobile apps and designed for developers. A developer-friendly mobile security tool offers actionable feedback that better aligns development and security teams.

Automated Application Security Testing and Why It Will Be a Priority

In a world where organizations are tasked with constantly innovating to meet the ever-changing demands of their customers, organizations cannot risk the fallout of an insecure application.

In 2022, we anticipate that application security testing will likely become the responsibility of the mobile application development team, using automated tools. This makes the testing process cost-effective and manageable, so that development teams receive frequent and regular feedback on a mobile app’s security. An additional benefit? An automated testing tool allows developers to perform mobile application testing as often as they want (or need), preparing the team for an effective and successful external assessment or penetration test.

Mobile apps are increasingly becoming the primary way users interact with businesses. Prioritizing application security scanning in 2022 will allow organizations to take proactive measures to prevent data leaks, IP theft, revenue loss and reputational damage.

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