For the common users as well as business world the use of applications on smartphones is much common. One can find ample apps on various platforms that can prove highly beneficial to various users. It is easy to have an app but to maintain it is nothing less than a challenging task. One needs to be highly careful and vigilant when it comes to app security. The experts in this field offer various options to have desired security to apps. They use various steps and programs that can ensure the desired security of app.
Application security refers to the process of making the apps more secured by finding, fixing as well as enhancing the apps security. Most of the process of securing the app happens during the phase of development. Certain tools and methods are added to protect the app once they are deployed. App security is very important as hackers are increasing day by day and attack the target applications. There are many tools available to secure different elements of applications. The applications are secured from coding threats, evaluating encryption options, auditing permissions and access rights. Various tools to protect various applications like for mobile apps, network based apps and firewall designed especially for web applications.
Importance of Application security: Sooner and faster the process of software development the enterprise can find and fix the issues related to security, it will be safe. It is possible that the mistake has happened but the challenge is to timely find those mistakes and fix them. The security tools that are incorporated into your application development environment can help the process and workflow to become simpler as well as effective. Application security segment growth is supported by the changing nature of how the apps in the enterprise are being constructed and developed. Now-a-days the methods of working are totally new and advanced, called continuous deployment and integration. This helps to redefine the apps on daily basis and in some cases hourly. This is clear that the security tool must be designed to work in this ever changing world and find any threats and issues related to codes quickly and easily.
Android App Security Risk: The risk associated with Android app security is related to listed threats that need to be secured:
- Reverse Engineering: Android based is developed in Java with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). With the help of various tools available on internet these Java apps can be revered. The byte code of Android can be altered and packed again in the form of APK files. As soon as the Android app is reversed it easily provides the hacker with test login credentials, insights into bas designs, details about the libraries and classes used. The type of encryption used in app can also be known easily. With this the hacker can not only hack one device but multiple devices with the use of decryption method.
- Insecure Platform Usage: Android apps are more likely to be vulnerable to OWASP top 10 risks where app developers do not consider the best practices published by Google for communicating with mobile OS. This is done particularly through unsecured Android intents and platform permissions. It is the tendency of the developers to ignore the use of Local Broadcast Manager for sending and receiving messages for legal apps thus creating a security gap.
- Ignoring updates: Many developers of Android apps do not update them on regular basis or show concern towards the OS patches issued by Android. This ignorance results in lack of protection against vulnerabilities that are newly found. With update of the apps the latest security patches can be covered. Rather if they are ignored can expose applications to latest security risks.
- Rooted Devices: The Android OS allow its users root their devices by using third-party apps by giving some warnings to them. Not all the users are aware that their rooted device is exposed to being manipulated by the hackers and malware. It is therefore important for the developers, not to allow the apps to run in a rooted environment or issuing legal warnings to users.
iOS App Security Risks: Apple iOS is a closed operating system and strictly enforces security features unlike Android. It has features due to which the apps cannot communicate with other apps or directly access their data. iOS is developed with Objective C language with tools like Xcode. The same version is also used in Apple’s laptop and Mac Computers.
- Jailbreak: Jailbreak is a term used related to Apple Devices. Jailbreak is tethered; it means that every time the user reboots their phone, it needs to be connected with a laptop or run a jail-broken code. Un-tethered jailbreak means that the code will always remain on the phone even after the reboot of the device.
- User Authentication: Face ID and Touch ID device level security is offered by iOS claims that the device is secured because the processor used by them is separate from other OS. Hackers can find a way to this by compromising Touch ID, most notably through a device called Gray-Key, which can make brute-forcing the pass-code guessing easy by doing away with the need to wait between the attempts. By enforcing Touch ID system to protect data by app developers within the apps, they are also prone to be exposed to this type of vulnerability.
- Insecure Data Storage: The data in most apps are store in form of SQL database, cookies, binary data stores, or even in the form common text. Hackers can access these storage locations when operating system, framework or compiler is vulnerable to threat. Even jail-breaking of device leads to data exposure. By gaining access to the data base, the hackers modify the app and collect the information stored in them. Even the most sophisticated encryption algorithms are exposed through Jail-broken devices. Insecure data storage is one of the most common vulnerabilities in iOS according to security experts. The hackers can exploit the data to steal the passwords, financial information and personal data of the user.