Our mobile phones enable us to complete the majority of our online activities without needing to use a computer. It is possible to use a mobile device to check emails, purchase products online, and even carry out a range of banking activities.
This is all possible due to the increased adoption of smartphones and the emergence of a range of mobile applications that have now become commonplace in our lives. These mobile applications connect to APIs and servers on a global basis and provide greater levels of user convenience.
It should not come as a surprise that as there are now larger amounts of information and user data, fraudsters are also looking for ways in which to identify and exploit weaknesses in mobile applications and gain access to this data. This can have a negative impact upon end users who fall victim to fraud, as well as brands and enterprises that produce the applications.
Unfortunately, mobile applications and their APIs can sometimes have hidden vulnerabilities within their systems, meaning that they can become insecure and lead to sensitive data being hacked. As you may well know from your own browsing habits, end-users tend to give little regard to mobile application security and assume that the application is 100% secure.
When security and data breaches do occur, they have devastating consequences for businesses due to a loss of trust from their end-users. Meaning that there will be losses in revenue as quoted by doe, and having to invest valuable time in rebuilding a company’s reputation.
How can mobile applications be exploited?
Hackers can implement malware in applications or on mobile devices themselves – this means that both the hardware and software of the device are a strong risk factor as personal and sensitive information can be accessed. It is also possible to mimic a mobile application and deceive users into thinking that it is a genuine application.
How to protect a mobile application?
When developing an application, it is essential that mobile security is at the forefront of the planning, design and build process – this ensures that mobile fraud prevention is being increased. The following methods will assist in helping to make sure that the application is as secure as possible in both the medium and long-term.
Invest in a dedicated security solution
Investing in dedicated mobile application protection helps to protect existing and future applications and is the most reliable way to ensure a completely secure experience for customers. Developments within the industry mean that there are options to provide an enhanced user experience without impacting performance, simplicity, and security.
There are solutions available that make sure that the necessary security protection is implemented on both existing and future applications. There have been advancements that offer the best experience for users by providing the most in-depth protection for that particular device and operating system.
In order to offer higher levels of protection, it is beneficial to opt for a solution that isolates both sensitive and critical information, including user data, biometrics, and sensitive pin codes into a secure location away from the main operating system. This can then be complemented by choosing a solution that offers both hardware and software protection to deliver unrivaled security.
Add an Extra Layer of Authentication
Opting for security solutions that provide a higher level of authentication helps to ensure that the user demonstrates to applications that they are the genuine user of the device. This is achieved by adding messaging solutions that provide one-time passwords and by collecting user credentials and validating them via A2P SMS or emails.
If you are using an external API, then conduct checks to ensure that the code is fully secure and that it is only providing access to the most essential parts of the mobile application to protect against data and security breaches. If there are aspects related to security that you are not fully confident about, then action must be taken to eradicate any risk, no matter how small.
Conduct Application Testing
Taking the time to fully test the code of a mobile application tends to be something that is only considered during the development phase. The majority of the time this testing is usually reserved for usability and functionality – security-related testing tends to be ignored. However, it is imperative that that vulnerability in the code are found and eradicated before the application enters the marketplace and is downloaded by end-users.
This should also include penetration testing to identify weaknesses within both the system and the application. This should be performed at the same time by using emulators for various devices, operating systems, and browsers, as this enables insights into the application to be gained and how it will perform upon release.