Mobile Application security testing (MAST) is the practice of making mobile applications more resistant to cybersecurity threats. The key is to identify security weaknesses and vulnerabilities after performing complete application security testing and fixing them by providing trustworthy solutions.
Read this article if you want to learn more about mobile and web application security testing and the best practices and tools used for this. We’re going to explain more and provide helpful answers to these questions:
- Why is application security testing important?
- Why do organizations need web and mobile application testing?
- Is your organization protected against application security threats?
- What are some examples of mobile app testing?
- How is application security testing performed?
Why is Application Security Testing Important?
Mobile app security has grown fastly in recent years since mobile devices have increased significantly in number, providing numerous features for users. The trending topics related to mobile device applications are based on tools which offer banking services, shopping, and social media services. These services are in need of secure data collection, storage, and processing to ensure users’ sensitive and personal data is safe and protected against cyber threats.
- Mobile apps can be a critical point in terms of data security, and hackers would like to make use of these tools to access users’ data and exploit systems. There are many reasons why financial institutions and banking services should take mobile app security seriously and take time to enhance the mobile app security level in their organization.
To prevent a cyber threat or data breach, we need to analyze and uncover security vulnerabilities in every part of the IT infrastructure. We need to check firewalls, networks, devices, and routers thoroughly. Mobile application vulnerabilities are one of the primary considerations in this case, and there is a need to find security holes in a mobile application before attackers can find them and make use of these weaknesses to perform malicious activities. Mobile application security testing is important due to the following reasons:
- It helps prevent future attacks through a vulnerability assessment
- It gives us full insight into the behaviors of attackers
- It allows software developers to integrate the latest secure software development practices into the development process
- It offers an opportunity to test and monitor third-party vendors and check the related compliances and standards
- It provides full information on the level of skills and experience of the app development company that is providing you with mobile applications
Read more about why your organization needs comprehensive mobile application testing:
1. Compromised Login Information
When someone can gain access to your credentials, such as usernames and passwords, it is a condition which is referred to as compromised login information. This means that unauthorized users have your login credentials and have access to your online accounts on a website or in an organizational system.
- Considering millions of mobile apps available for mobile devices, users are feared to be impacted by different techniques used by cyber attackers who aim to steal their credentials and login information. Note that many mobile device applications can be compromised in less than 15 minutes if reliable security procedures and security tests haven’t been included in their development process.
These weaknesses are due to not having comprehensive login data encryption, and defects in data storage and data retrieval processes may cause these vulnerabilities.
2. Stolen Financial Information
First and foremost, protecting the financial information of mobile app users is a vital part of all cybersecurity strategies. With the internet taking over almost all aspects of our life today, data and financial information theft are more likely to occur. This is especially a concerning matter for financial services and banks since data theft or data exposure in such industries can lead to disastrous outcomes in the short or long term.
- It should be noted that data breaches and information theft occur in organizations or companies that usually don’t have any data protection and response plan. This is also true for small businesses and startup companies that ignore having a cybersecurity team and don’t speak to a cybersecurity team to provide them with reliable data protection plans.
To safeguard your financial information, there is a need for an identity theft prevention checklist, including some essential rules as follows:
- Protecting usernames, passwords, and PINs
- Using protected and secure wireless networks
- Double checking online banking and financial services websites when accessing them
Mobile applications are one of the main tools for hackers, providing them with an easy method to steal your identity information or financial data. Scammers can hack your mobile banking app, and these tools are a target for them. Scammers and cyber attackers may steal your financial information through your mobile app while the data is in transfer and by penetrating the server where your financial data is stored.
3. Reduced Business Growth
Every year cyberattacks become increasingly more prevalent and complex, and they are considered a great concern for business continuity and growth. In most cybersecurity reports and surveys, cyber threats are included as the number 1 threat to business continuity in which mobile application threats are an important part of it.
- Mobile applications provide instant services to your clients and application users, and these tools are a consistent and always-on channel, forming a unique opportunity for your business growth and development. As a result, any cybersecurity issue in your mobile apps can lead to non-recoverable problems in the development and growth of your business.
4. Reputation Damage
Reputation damage refers to a state in which clients and service users may leave brands, and this situation can pose a threat to the business continuity and survival of a company. Reputational risks are more crucial for large organizations, and they need to provide damage control plans and response plans to mitigate related risks.
- A company’s reputation is a highly sensitive requirement for business growth. When reputation is damaged, it can impact a company’s success. Any security flaw in a mobile application can put your company’s reputation at risk, and it can cause a condition where clients and users will leave your company over time.
A mobile application is one of the great tools for helping improve services, but it can contribute to significant reputation damage if the application is poorly maintained and supported.
5. Guessing the Behaviours of Attackers and Anticipating their Moves
Mobile application security testing allows cybersecurity teams to guess the behavior models of cyber attacks and report them to provide practical solutions. Unusual activities and suspicious requests can be important indicators showing there may be a cyber attack in the future. A cybersecurity team can list all these behavior models by mobile application security testing and assessment.
- The ability to detect threat indicators and analyze cyber threat behaviors is a crucial element of every comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Your cybersecurity team or third-party service provider is responsible for performing mobile application security testing and monitoring mobile applications regularly, helping reduce the risks of being impacted by mobile app threats.
But what are the essential threat indicators associated with mobile application testing? Here are some of the primary indicators Nordic Defender takes into account when analyzing mobile application security:
- Unusual inbound and outbound network traffic
- Unusual activities from administrators or privileged users
- Unusual access requests or logins
- Suspicious changes in files or registers
- Large amounts of files or data
- An increase in database read volume
6. Going Live With the New Mobile Application Without Excess Worry About Security Risks
Comprehensive mobile application security testing can provide you with the best practices and strategies needed for developing new and modern applications. Cybersecurity teams consider some factors when performing mobile application security tests to provide a comprehensive report on how you can improve your application’s security level.
- Remember that there are modern approaches to application development, and traditional methods couldn’t provide reliable solutions today. Cloud computing and hosting are evolving and replacing on-premise servers, and there are highly advanced API tools that are designed based on security and data protection.
Many exciting changes have been seen in the last few years in the field of mobile application development, and cybersecurity has greatly impacted this field of technology. As a result, cybersecurity teams consider these changes when they want to perform mobile application security tests to fill mobile application gaps and development problems in your organization.
The following mobile application development practices can help create a modern application development environment:
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
- Proper use of microservices, APIs, and containers
- Use of the DevSecOps approach
- Continuous testing and security analysis
- Updating applications and infrastructure quickly by automating the process
- Integrating structured incident response plans into mobile app development procedures
7. The Architecture, Like the Network or Components of the Mobile Application
When there is a change in the network or other parts of the organizational IT system, web and mobile application security scanning and testing become crucial. This is done to make sure the architecture and components of a mobile application are at high protection levels, and the IT infrastructure and its components are performing with high performance.
8. 3rd-party Vendors May be Unfamiliar with Standards and Compliances
Outsourcing software services is inevitable in today’s software development industry. APIs are everywhere, and you may ask a third-party company to do a part of your work and report back at specific times. Third parties may be unfamiliar with the necessary security standards and compliance which will cause some problems if you want to deploy the needed regulatory requirements in your organization.
- 3rd-party vendors are responsible for financial data protection, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, legal standing, and secure process execution. All these considerations must be evaluated through mobile application security tests by your cybersecurity team to understand what data security issues exist in your mobile application development.
Third-party-related issues exist when an organization wants to develop mobile applications. They may intentionally or unintentionally put your organization at data security risks that require a 3rd-party vendor risk management plan to mitigate the related risks and data protection issues.
These are the common third-party vendor risks for mobile application development:
- Risks related to reputation
- Risks related to operations
- Risks related to financial transactions
- Risks related to stealing credit card information and data
- Risks related to non-compliance with the regulatory rules
- Risks related to cloud security
9. Know the Skills and Experience of the App Development Agency that Builds Your Mobile Applications
As one of the fastest-growing industries, mobile app development has become a very developed industry with lots of innovations and advanced technologies. There is a wide range of mobile app development companies out there which can provide you with your desired mobile application and software tool.
- However, not all of them include secure development practices in their development process, and not many organizations consider this point. Comprehensive mobile application security testing will outline all the defects and security holes detected in a specific mobile application by which you will be able to know the third-party vendor’s skills and experience.
QA and security testing are crucial steps before the official release of a mobile application, and it is passed through multiple tests performed by the cybersecurity team and software development team.
A major problem detected during a security test shows you are making a mistake working with this app development agency, and you will need to think about other options in the future. Remember that mobile app security testing explores many vulnerabilities and categorizes them based on the damage level.
10. Test the Responsiveness of Your IT Team
Sometimes you cannot test your software development team until a problem arises. Mobile application security testing allows your organization to understand how your IT team and developers are responding to detected problems and know if they will stay alongside you in such situations or not.
Building a responsive culture in your organization is an essential requirement in all areas, and it’s a critical requirement for the IT team. This feature will be beneficial for providing instant solutions for recently identified vulnerabilities and preventing your company from being impacted by upcoming cyber attacks.
11. Meet Tough Industry Security Standards and Comply with Regulations
With cyber threats constantly increasing, new compliance regulations are being created, forcing companies to comply with the required roles and responsibilities. There are defined rules in each of the compliance regulations, and organizations of all sizes are tasked to integrate these rules into their daily processes and tasks. Surely, there are significant fines and penalties if one of the mandatory regulations is ignored by an organization which will put a business at high data security and protection risks.
- Mobile app security is one of the critical requirements for passing compliance tests. No matter which framework you choose and be assigned to, there are mandatory mobile app security tests. These tests ensure there are no data security issues for clients’ personal data, and their information will be protected against different cyber threats.
One of the main web and mobile app security standards is the Open Web Application Security Project, but there are also other mandatory regulations which aim to enhance the data security level of a mobile application. Overall, mobile app security standards and compliances are associated with the following issues to mitigate the related risks:
- Weak authorization and authentication processes
- Using HTTP instead of HTTPS in your app and making sure any communication is encrypted
- Not having application transport security
- Long sessions
- Storage of critical and sensitive data and information in insecure locations
- Defective cryptography
Combined with the most effective and powerful cybersecurity tools, our application security practices enable software development and security teams to rapidly identify vulnerabilities before they can take root and affect your data security.
This way, your team will be able to create more secure source code and protect applications against external and internal threats.
- Nordic Defender focuses on developing a holistic application security plan for your organization that integrates the required practices and technologies into your application development process, ensuring all regulatory requirements are satisfied completely.
Web and mobile application testing helps developers and IT team members better understand security concerns, and it forces your development team to design secured and protected applications. Through application security testing, your team can identify security issues at the early stages before a software vulnerability can impact your digital infrastructure and cause data security disasters. Advanced tools are used for performing thorough application security testing, and you will finally have a detailed report outlining the detected app security vulnerabilities and defects.
Is application security testing necessary for my organization?
- Yes. If you are offering your clients online services through mobile and web applications, performing application security testing becomes crucial. It helps you find vulnerabilities that can impact your digital assets and lead to data security threats in your organization.
What are the benefits of application security testing?
- Application security testing reduces the risks coming from both internal and third-party sources, and it helps your business offer reliable online services to clients. Your customers’ data is an important asset of your organization that must be protected, and a major part of data protection involves safeguarding your web and mobile applications.
What are the main issues if application security testing is ignored?
- Your organization is prone to be impacted by several security issues if your team ignores security testing. This includes broken access control, cryptographic failures, and injection issues that can put your business at high risk and lead to regulatory penalties and fines.
How can I prevent the negative impacts of the detected vulnerabilities?
- After performing application security testing, your IT team will be provided with a detailed report that explains the number and type of vulnerabilities detected on your applications. This will help your team better design the necessary steps needed for fixing the vulnerabilities.
Will you help my organization improve its application security posture?
- Along with providing complete app security testing on your applications, Nordic Defender aims to offer you cybersecurity advisory services. We will analyze your systems and network completely, and our team members can design the most effective protection plan to prevent cyber threats related to digital devices, systems, networks, databases, and applications.