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10 Security Vulnerabilities That May Hurt Your Mobile Application

Like websites, mobile apps are increasingly getting vulnerable to security threats, if all sorts. Since most people browse, shop, and transact through mobile apps, security threats and vulnerabilities continue to creep up. However, certain threats can be avoided with prior precautions and appropriate measures. 

Here we are going to explain the most common and recurring security vulnerabilities for most apps. 

Weaker Backend Controls

Weak backend or server-side controls refer to all elements that can make a mobile app’s performance suffer outside of the device. Since most mobile apps depend on the server connection to work with the client and server-side, they become vulnerable to the traditional server-side security threats. Moreover, the vast majority of the security vulnerabilities that hackers or attackers exploit belong to the server-side. 

Many reasons contribute to server-side threats and vulnerabilities. Here below, we mention a few of them. 

  • Less security knowledge and know-how about the implementation
  • Faster time to market contributing to more security issues and bugs 
  • Frequent updates exposing to more security issues
  • Easy to use frameworks with fewer concerns on security
  • Depending too much on the mobile operating system for security 
  • Ineffective integration and development across platforms 

Non-optimized Transport Layer Protection

For more robust mobile app security enforcing the TLS/SSL encryption powered by robust algorithms to hold communications is already a trusted practice. Using unencrypted connections to communicate with the 3d party plugins or solution providers is a big mistake. 

As for showcasing your app’s security measures, make sure all certificate errors and warning messages are displayed. This will facilitate more transparency about the encrypted connection quality.

 Frontend Injection

A multitude of input attacks that happen to any mobile application is another big security vulnerability. Experts generally recommend stricter input validation in all entry points of the back-end or server-side to mitigate the front-end injection vulnerabilities.

iOS developers can use parameterized queries and avoid all those vulnerable functions like strcat, strcpy, etc. Android developers and the use of parameterized queries can disable Javascript and WebView plugin support. 

Least Number of Binary Protections

When the binary protection is entirely absent, attackers can inject malware through reverse engineering of the code. By using the same method, they can also redistribute a pirated application loaded with security threats. This can lead to big fraud and data theft. 

Using binary hardening techniques plays a vital role in analyzing and modifying the files to ensure protection against such common exploits. Simultaneously, the app needs to use secure coding techniques to detect jailbreak efforts, checksum controls, certificate pinning, and debugger. 

Less Secure Storage 

A major security flaw for mobile apps is less secure data storage. The most vulnerable practice among many developers relies on client data storage, which is not protected with a sandbox environment. This allows for unauthorized data access and manipulation. 

There should be an extra layer of encryption on top of the OS platform’s basic encryption to ensure optimum data storage security. This ensures delivering a great security setting that can’t be easily violated.

Under-Optimized Authorization and Authentication

 Lack of proper authentication makes way for anyone to get anonymous access to an app and backend controls. This vulnerability becomes more common due to the input form factor of any mobile device. Because of this input form factor using short passwords comprising just 4-digit PINs becomes more common. 

There are sides to this security issue. In contrast to traditional web apps, mobile apps’ users do not remain online throughout extended sessions, which is further aggravated by the less reliable mobile internet connections. This is why apps often use offline authentication to ensure faster uptime. But this offline authentication can make way for security loopholes. 

The attacker can use brute force techniques to break through the security logins in offline mode. Low-level permissions for carrying out multiple actions further security glitches. 

Broken Cryptography

These days broken cryptography has emerged as a major security vulnerability for mobile apps. Generally, mobile data security and cryptography always work hand in hand. Improper cryptography uses or broken cryptography is a key threat to mobile apps. 

While most developers, while deploying encryption with a device, use a hardcoded key embedded right in the source code, the cryptography always remains vulnerable to security threats relying on reverse engineering of the app code. 

Reverse-Engineering of Mobile Apps Source Code: Important Things to Know 

 iOS apps are considered fully protected from reverse engineering as the platform defaults using code encryption. The security configuration of the iOS platform needs every app to be fully encrypted and verified by reliable sources. So, as and when an app starts working, the app loader of the iOS platform decrypts the mobile app in memory and executes the code. 

The Android platform doesn’t have this default mechanism in place, and hence the developers need to use additional measures to prevent reverse engineering of the app code.  

Conclusion 

All the security vulnerabilities and threats mentioned above have Ben experienced by developers worldwide. Hence, they bear the testimony of the practical issues experienced with app security over the years. With mobile app security concerns steadily increasing, you can no longer take things for granted anymore. 

Author Bio

Jamie Waltz is a Senior mobile app developer at We App IT – An Mobile App Development Company Denmark Offers Various Service App Development Domain. They Have a Dedicated team of developers for each technology includes android & ios. Jamie has 6+ years of experience and holds expertise in App Development. In His Spare Time, He Loves to Share his Idea, Thoughts on Different Technologies Through Writing An Blog Article.

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