With the increasing use of mobile devices in the organizational setting, it has become more important to pay attention towards common security vulnerabilities found in smartphone applications. Irrespective of the operating system and the device on which the app is installed, even a minor flaw can bring about enormous risks for the company’s security. Whether it is an internally developed app or a third party software used for business purposes, here are some of the common security vulnerabilities to look out for:
Insecure Data Storage
A lot of mobile apps store sensitive information such as users’ login credentials, banking details, credit or debit card numbers, social security numbers etc. Failure to store this data in a properly encrypted format poses a serious threat to the security of the application users. When the phone is lost, stolen or accessed by anyone, the data stored in clear text can be easily retrieved. Storing unencrypted data on removable devices such as an external SD card can be particularly risky from security point of view.
As a result of Google Play’s open format, Android apps are much vulnerable to security flaws. Hackers break down the malware code into small fragments to avoid detection and use names similar to credible developers to compel users to download the app. To avoid this, you must download and frequently update anti-malware software on your mobile device.
Another common security risk posed by mobile applications is the unauthorized access to the users’ personal data. Employees should be informed about access permissions whenever they install an app on their device. User approval is essential before an app can use the information stored on the mobile phone. Hence, requests from apps to access data they should not be using should be dealt with very cautiously.
Improper Session Handling
This vulnerability comes up when the session tokens are, voluntarily or involuntarily, shared with the hackers. When the sessions are not handled properly at the server side, it may result in information theft or data leaks. Integrity of the session tokens should be protected by ensuring secure data transmission through SSL/TLS connections.
Poor Authorization and Authentication
Mobile apps and the resources they connect to should have proper authorization and authentication practices implemented. This will ascertain that only the legitimate users and devices are able to transfer as well as receive data through the app. The unauthorized users, scripts and codes should be identified as well as blocked.
For more useful tips on mobile application security, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.