With recent development in the technologies used for mobile application development, Mobile app security has become a hot topic for discussion. As it is one of the major concerns for individuals and businesses, it is quite important to address such vulnerabilities. With increasing mobile applications for almost all the industries like socializing, entertainment, banking, and shopping, the potential consequences of security breaches can be quite problematic. In this blog, we will look at the top 6 Mobile app Security Issues and discuss several easy-to-address them. If you are building mobile applications then this can be quite important for you.
Table of Contents
#1: Insufficient Cryptography For Sensitive Data
Having insufficient cryptography can be a major security flaw for mobile applications. When the up-to-date cryptography packages are not implemented correctly then it becomes quite easy for the attackers to gain unauthorized access to the sensitive data by decrypting it. As per the Study done by the Center of Security (CIS), nearly 29 Percent of Mobile applications are found with at least one cryptography vulnerability.
To address this security flaw, it is quite essential to follow the best practices while implementing cryptography. One can use advanced encryption algorithms and regularly update the encryption keys, and store them. There are a lot of tools available that can help to detect any cryptography vulnerability in mobile applications. Based on the platform, you can use an iOS keychain or Android keystore to protect the user data.
#2: Weak Authorization And Authentication
Weak authorization and authentication is the second most important security issue found in most mobile applications. With weak controls for authentication, it becomes quite easy to gain access to resources or sensitive information. Based on the study done by OWASP(Open Web Application Security Project), nearly 27 percent of mobile applications had authorization and authentication problems.
To fix this security issue, one should always use some advanced and sacred authorization and authentication controls. Some of the ways to mitigate it are implementing strong password policies, using access controls to restrict access, enabling multi-factor authentication, and much more. Furthermore, you should use several vulnerability scanners to identify such issues and remediate them.
#3: Unsecured Data Storage:
A lot of mobile applications store users’ sensitive data on databases in an insecure manner. Due to the storage of data as plain text, it can be easily compromised and accessed by malicious actors. 32 percent of mobile applications were discovered with this problem which caused a wide range of consequences like exposure to sensitive information, financial fraud, identity theft, and much more.
While storing the data it is important to follow some best practices such as encrypting data when it is in transit and stored by using some advanced data storage frameworks and libraries. You can also implement access controls for databases. Additionally, you can use some cloud platforms like AWS which offer different security policies to control access.
#4. Insecure Network Communication:
Nowadays a lot of mobile applications use the internet and this is where vulnerability can occur. Whenever any mobile application tries to communicate with any other device or service running on different services, it becomes vulnerable to several cyber attacks like eavesdropping, and MITM- man-in-the-middle-attack. In a recent study done by UC San Diego, it sounds like 17 percent of mobile applications are vulnerable to such attacks.
To mitigate weak network connection vulnerability, one can use secure protocols like SSL/TLS or HTTP and implement certificate pinning. Furthermore, there are different network security frameworks and libraries that help to encrypt network communication. There are a lot of tools available that you can use to simulate any cyber attack to identify vulnerabilities. These tools can help to identify insecure protocols, weak encryption, unsecured data transmission, and much more.
#5. Weak And Insecure APIS:
While you use APIS, it is quite important to know that it can be vulnerable to several cyber security attacks like data breaches and injection attacks. A recent study conducted by the CIS found approximately 34 percent of mobile applications use insecure APIS that are vulnerable to some serious security attacks.
To address this issue, it is mandatory to follow some of the best practices to secure the APIs. Using secure network protocols like SSL/TLS, HTTPS, output encoding, implementing input validation, and using some advanced access control to APIS you can mitigate such risks. Another major important step is to use tokens or API keys to authorize or authenticate the API access. This would prevent APIs from any sort of injection attacks. Moreover, it is also important to keep the APIs updated by doing regular tests and security patches.
#6. Use Of Unsecured Third-Party Libraries:
Last but not least, the use of insecure third-party libraries is also a major mobile application security issue. If a mobile application uses third-party libraries, it can introduce some unexpected vulnerabilities to their mobile applications. As per the statistics by OWASP, 45 percent of mobile applications were found with security vulnerabilities that were caused due to third-party installation.
To address security issues, it is important to monitor and vet all third-party mobile applications before using them. This can include a proper review of the libraries and their security hacks, implementing the security controls to limit the potential attack, checking for known vulnerabilities, and much more.
In conclusion, Mobile application Security is quite an important concern and should not be taken lightly. As the usage of mobile applications is rising, it becomes quite essential to ensure that they are protected and secure from different cyber attacks.
With the help of this blog, we discussed the top 6 mobile app security issues such as insecure APIs, client-side injection, weak authentication and authorization, secure data storage, etc. These issues are quite risky for the mobile application and data they handle. By implementing the right strategies and tools, organizations can protect mobile app users from such security flaws.
It is quite essential to have a strategy in place to identify and remediate vulnerabilities. With incident response planning, monitoring, and regular testing you can easily maintain a secured mobile app environment. Companies should prioritize mobile app security to protect the sensitive data and assets of customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the top mobile app security issues?
Some of the popular security issues are insecure APIs, insecure authorization and authentication, client-side injection, lack of binary support, insecure communication, and insecure data storage.
What are the different ways to protect my mobile applications from security threats?
There are several steps that you can follow to protect the mobile application from security threats. It includes the implementation of some of the best practices for secure communication and data storage, implementing output encoding and input validation, use of access control to restrict access to APIs, and a few more.
What tools can I use to detect and address mobile security flaws?
A lot of tools are available that help you to address mobile app security issues. Such tools can be mobile app security scanners, penetration testing tools, code review tools, and much more. Furthermore, you can also use some tools like API security scanners to detect and fix API vulnerabilities.
Are mobile applications more vulnerable to security threats than web apps or desktop apps?
Mobile applications are considered to be quite vulnerable to security threats than web apps and traditional desktops. This is because mobile apps are less secure as they are used with unsecured devices and networks.