Important Tests for Mobile App Security

7 Important Tests for Mobile App Security that Every Developer Must Know 

Today, we cannot live without mobile applications. They help us shop for essentials, order food, and book tickets. Thanks to them, today, a person can do hefty tasks within minutes through a mobile app.

According to Statista, by 2023, business owners are expected to generate $935 billion in revenue from mobile apps alone.

With such a heavy reliance on mobile apps comes the massive responsibility of their security. Mobile app developers have to dig in deep to ensure that the application’s userbase stays secure.

And to do that, they can run these seven tests mentioned below:

Test 1. Emulation

In the first test, we will shape our app under a situation by deliberately emulating it as a cybercriminal and targeting it. 

Emulation is also called the penetration test, where a developer tries to figure out the loopholes in the entire app system. They note down any vulnerability or loophole that the app exhibits. 

The vulnerabilities may include binary compile issues, traditional injections, and improper storage of sensitive data. 

Developers aim to identify every vulnerability so that the app does not succumb to cyberattacks and defend its database. 

Test 2 Risk awareness

We will evaluate the app in multiple operating systems in the second test. The mission is to see whether the app misbehaves or gives in when installed on an unsecured device or not. 

The truth is that not all smartphone brands emphasize security. Therefore, hackers can creep into a device and compromise the application, erasing or stealing all the data. 

That is why developers should integrate the risk-awareness system into the application. This system will ensure that the application does not operate on an unsecure device. 

It should bar the user from entering their username or password until the security issue is fixed. 

Test 3 File-level encryption

The third test secures the files that users usually upload through their devices. In most apps, data storage is designed to be kept outside the app to regulate the speed. 

But, when users fetch data stored on their local devices into the app for upload purposes, it poses a severe threat because it is uploaded in a decrypted format. 

Therefore, file-level encryption is needed where every file that gets uploaded is in an encrypted format, so hackers cannot see what is being uploaded or fetched. 

Test 4 Code-Signing encryption 

Some hackers can reserve-engineer the app and steal the apps’ source code. They use disassemblers and decompiles to do so. 

Without appropriate code hardening, the app will always be vulnerable to an attack. Code Signing cert can be either organization validation or extended validation. For better authentication and strong protection, and Extended Validation or EV Code Signing certificate is needed. It also offers the Microsoft SmartScreen Filter feature builds a reputation with major browsers and other platforms. 

The Mobile app developers use a code-signing cert for digitally signing the application so that users can verify the code’s authenticity upon receiving.

This certificate shows that no third-party intervention or alteration is being made to the application; the cert contains the company’s stamp, signature, and name. 

Now you must be wondering-what does EV starts for in the certificate?

An EV or Extended Validation is the premium level verification signed by a Certificate Authority that authenticates a business’s identity, address, and legal entity of the owner.

This cert also prevents security warning labels from popping up by helping applications comply with all security standards. As a result, the app gets smoothly downloaded without interception or bugs.

Moreover, alterations can be easily detected in a digitally signed cert. They also contain a timestamp that shows that a valid cert signs the code. 

So, apply code encryption to your app if you have not already. 

Test 5 SSL-encryption

An SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate holds equal importance as a code signing certificate. 

An SSL encrypts the data in transit so that the hacker cannot see what is getting shared or transferred between the user and the application. 

SSL helps seal all loopholes that give a chance to a hacker to intercept the data transmission. Therefore, even if a hacker comes across the transmission, they will not be able to decipher the meaning as it will flow in an encrypted format. 

So, check whether your SSL is correctly encrypting data or not. 

Test 6 Displayed layout

Apps show you sensitive data upfront. Though there is no problem with that, if a hacker manages to sneak into your application, they can take a screenshot of that sensitive data or fetch it from the recently visited apps. The sensitive information may contain bank details as well. 

To ensure the user’s security, the developer needs to create a system where the data gets erased once the user goes to some other application. 

Therefore, developers should use FLAG_SECURE in the layout program so that the data gets erased. 

Test 7 Backup systems

Have you created a backup system for your app? Though we have almost covered all security aspects, hackers can still figure out unique ways to compromise the app. 

They can steal or erase entire user data leaving them with no identity or proof associated with the app. 

Therefore, you must create a backup system for app users. The system will keep storing data and can provide it when needed. 

Every modern-day app comes with proper backup systems, so make sure your app has them. 

Final Thoughts

One cannot imagine their life without their favorite mobile apps in 2022. They make our lives so much easier than they used to be. 

You do not have to go to a grocery store or a mall to buy your essentials. Instead, through apps like amazon, all of that will be delivered to you at your doorstep. 

But, keeping mobile apps secure is of utmost priority. With cybercriminals adapting to the changing global security standards, the least we as app developers can do is adhere to the latest security updates. 

By taking these seven tests mentioned above, you can rest assured that your app is developed securely. Therefore, do make sure that your app passes all these tests. 

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