Apps, Technology, Tools

11 Huge Risks to Mobile App Security

For all of the convenience of mobile apps, security is a major issue. There maybe high-risk to Mobile App Security? As, There’s an...

Avatar Written by Sophie Ross · 4 min read >
Mobile App Security

For all of the convenience of mobile apps, security is a major issue. There maybe high-risk to Mobile App Security?

As, There’s an app for everything it seems like. Maps, finances, messages, emails, phone calls, and games are all located on a smart device that almost everyone has in their possession. In short, people are building mobile apps almost for all the things. One would think that security measures would be impenetrable for such devices. However, it is equally convenient and simple for a hacker or anyone else willing to write malicious code to be able to implant such code in a number of ways.

Once this type of code infects a device, it can be transmitted to numerous connected devices. This can instantly give the creator or hacker the ability to steal any personal information that they may think to be important.

Mobile security threats are steadily increasing—according to Symantec research, there was a 54 percent increase in mobile malware variants over the course of the last year.

Weak Server Security

On the server end of apps, weak controls and weak security can lead to apps easily becoming hacked or manipulated. Often these servers operate on smaller security budgets in order to make them either free or easily affordable.

Mobile operating systems are usually easier to hack than a standard operating system associated with a computer. Android operating systems are often easier to manipulate than other operating systems due to the different types of apps that can be downloaded to their smartphones. Android users can also download apps from different third-party sites which aren’t offered on the standard Android app management platform. By doing this, it is difficult to manage which sites are well-protected, and which sites offer legitimate apps.

A user may download an app from a server which truly could be a beneficial app, however with weak security, malware can be snuck in as part of the download.

Binary Hardening

Binary hardening is a type of protection which isn’t incredibly effective. This type of security usually covers very common issues. Such common types of malware or problems aren’t the ones that cause most issues with apps. It allows malware to be installed into apps, which piggyback their way into smart devices.

Once this occurs, it’s very simple for the malware to leak confidential data. Aside from a data leak, malware can also allow other problems that can include fraud and financial theft.

Binary hardening has one main function. Its purpose is to discourage any attempt from a hacker to reuse program code in order to cause problems.

Low-Level Storage Security

Apps usually don’t have much storage capacity built into them. As a result, they rely on the storage of the consumer. This allows hackers, malware or a virus to gain entrance to personal data that belongs to the consumer. It is from here that all sorts of information can be stolen.

Often, smart device users rely on the storage that their device offers as their main means of storage space. Once malware becomes involved, or once the operating system has been hacked, it becomes very easy to take whatever files are needed from the storage of these devices.

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Data Leaks

Critical data is often found at insecure locations. Devices that can access such data are often those that can be used by the public. Even allowing certain apps to control various parts of your smartphone can allow data leaks.

Every time you download an app, you may be asked if you wish to allow this app to track your location in the background, or even when you aren’t actively using the app. This can easily lead to data leaks.

Authorization issues

Users make up weak passwords, especially on mobile devices. Most apps require a password, so people use the same passwords for everything. This can grant instant access to anyone who stumbles upon these passwords.

Hackers and malware can then steal usernames, passwords, cookies, locations, date of birth, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and transaction histories.

Viruses via the App

Malicious coding, or malware, can enter a smart device through a particular app. This can result in a virus that can be spread between devices.

It can also result in the spread of malware among devices. Such actions can cause manipulation and theft of personal data. This could be something as simple as a text-based attack.

Horrible Transport Layer Protection

This can include anything that transfers information from devices to the internet. Such modes of transport can include home WiFi and the ability of locals accessing your WiFi. Cell towers also fall into this category. Someone could be intercepting transmissions through WiFi and thereby stealing confidential information in the process.

Improper Handling of Online Sessions

When done correctly, sessions are handled rather quickly. If a user is online or interacting with an app for a specified amount of time, the app should continue to work. However, after a short period of inactivity, the app should log the user out. This keeps unintended third parties from gaining access from valuable information.

If online sessions aren’t handled incorrectly, anyone can log on and have access to all of your information. Financial websites are the most commonly observed subjects to these incidents. However, a hacker can also gain access to your emails, transactions or any other number of personal materials.

Information Disclosure

Once a hacker gains valuable information about you, they can use this information to continue to gain access to many different databases where you hold additional important information. If a hacker gains just a few small details about you, they can log into various websites that can affect your finances, your business data, your personal information, and so on.

Typically, a hacker or malicious software is after one of two things:

  1. They are after your identity. By gaining this information, they can act like you, online. They can use your identity in any number of ways.

  2. They are also after your data. By gaining this information, they can make purchases online and have orders charged directly to your account. Someone else can spend as much of your money as they wish to.

Social Media

Everyone is incredibly connected in today’s world, with most people actively using social media on a daily basis.

Hackers will send a message that appears to be credible to an unsuspecting user. The user will answer the question without realizing that they are giving some form of information to the hacker. By this time, it’s too late. Sometimes the user will fall for the same scam more than once. Social media can also be used to transfer viruses and malware to different places since all social platforms are connected in some way to the internet.

Old Devices

In today’s world, technology is constantly changing. Something that is considered new today can be thought of as obsolete within a matter of months. Like smartphones, smart devices and their apps become older, companies have a much harder time keeping their operating systems up to date. This can allow a hacker to use old apps and infect them, gleaning information. As updates come out for apps, they usually include some sort of security update as well.

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Such data breaches and hacks are very serious. They could cost you or a company huge amounts of money. On average, company data breaches cost over $20,000 per day to remediate the damage.

Usually, employees use their smartphones to access information for their businesses. Smartphones are used much more often in today’s time than a personal computer. Most people are able to perform the same tasks on their phone as they would on a computer. In some cases, the phone is much better equipped to handle such tasks. This is why mobile app security is of such major importance.

Written by Sophie Ross
Sophie is a marketing specialist at Security Gladiators. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is specialized in tech and cybersecurity. When she is not behind the screen, Sophie can be found playing with her dog.
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8 Replies to “11 Huge Risks to Mobile App Security”

  1. Hello Sophie,
    Got to know many essential things about the Mobile App Security. Keep up the good work and looking out for some more articles regarding the mobile app.

  2. Hi Sophie,

    Great piece of information. Security is a factor in today’s digital world. You rightly pointed out that with so many new apps coming up every single day, it is hard to differentiate between a good app and an app which is trying to steal your information. It is better to read reviews and do some research before downloading any app. It is also advisable to download any app from authorized app store. That way the chances of any misuse will be minimal.

    thanks for sharing this post. have a good day. 🙂

  3. The IOT industry is growing positively nowadays. It helps a lot of people do things easier. People could even save a lot of time with the help of the IOT industry. Great points you have there. Great read!

  4. Hi Sophie,

    Great Read!
    Found the blog post to be really informative and helpful…

    I am also providing these business services from more than 6 years and these tips are really useful.

    Keep Sharing!

  5. Mobile phones have grown very popular in recent times and their use extends to access of information from the internet and even for business.Mobile security is thus a priority.

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