As mobile app development grows in popularity, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly significant issue. Businesses pursuing mobile app development must realize that these offerings are serious targets for hackers, who are eager to steal or expose their victims' sensitive information.
That is why enterprise mobile app developers need to reevaluate their operations and, in many cases, rededicate themselves to cybersecurity in this area, as industry expert Manish Mathuria recently told TechTarget.
Mobile app threats
Mathuria noted that CIOs at many enterprises are becoming more aware of the need for high-grade cybersecurity when it comes to mobile app development. He pointed out that many of their firms deploy apps that engage to a significant degree with the end users' mobile devices to a significant degree, which means they typically have access to a wide range of personal information. A security breach affecting this app will therefore likely compromise the customers' personal data, which could be devastating for the business responsible for that app.
This problem was further highlighted by industry expert Andrew Hoog in a separate TechTarget report. Hoog pointed out that mobile devices present a unique target for cybercriminals, as definitive security standards have yet to be developed. Furthermore, the degree to which these devices are being integrated into business's infrastructures means that a successful breach could enable a cyberattacker to gain access to a tremendous amount of valuable corporate information.
Beyond malware, Hoog also noted the dangers posed by unsecured applications, which may leak data. While he focused on the consumer side of the equation, businesses must also be wary of delivering apps that fail to properly safeguard user information.
Securing mobile apps
Yet guaranteeing the security of mobile apps is easier said than done. One problem, Mathuria emphasized, is simply how recent this field is. As someone with five years' worth of experience, he said that he is seen as a seasoned veteran. It's very possible for him to be unaware of some major component of the security model, which would make the code he produces vulnerable.
Making matters even more difficult is the possibility that malware could be installed on the user's smartphone or tablet, which could then attack the app in question.
"Existing malware on the device could tamper with the exchange of information, which is either happening with the storage of the device or via communicating or via interaction with other applications, such as sending a text, or receiving a text or interacting with an email application; there are various ways that an app could be subject to vulnerabilities," said Mathuria, the news source reported.
To minimize the threats mobile apps face, Mathuria offered a number of recommendations. Most importantly, he emphasized the need to test and analyze code. To this end, the right tools are essential.
"Doing static analysis of code, for example, is a basic thing that will give you the biggest bang for your buck," Mathuria told the source. "Using tools to do static analysis of code will point out the obvious mistakes."
By using static analysis tools and other solutions to conduct robust tests on mobile app code, enterprise developers can gain a much more thorough understanding of their offerings and how to guarantee the security of future programs. Considering the speed by which the mobile app development world is moving, and the seriousness of cybersecurity in this field, such endeavors are critical for businesses that are looking to stay ahead of the game well into the future.