Mobile Application Security [Weak Points of Any App]
So, what makes your mobile application secure? We hear many things regarding the web, desktop & mobile applications and apps for iOS & Android considered more secure amongst all of them - since mobile devices are providing certain security functionalities out of the box & mobile operation systems (especially iOS) considered to be more strict in comparison to desktop ones.
What's the point of this article then if there is nothing to be afraid of? Well, that's not the case here. There are a number of things that can get user sensitive data through the app and we'll go through them right now:
1. Lack of Multifactor Authentication - multifactor authentication is one of the easiest & straightforward ways to make sure your data on the application is safe & secure - you can find it on the banking apps you're probably using at the moment. Phone number authentication with a code via SMS messages, Face ID or Touch ID login, email verification, etc. - those are the examples of how multifactor auth works.
2. Failure to Encrypt Properly - many local databases, backend storages, hosting systems & communication protocols are providing us with certain security levels in place - and sometimes that leads to a fact that however is working on the app forgets about encryption.
Encryption is a technology to be able to encrypt the data which is being used on the service, you can encrypt data on the local database, encrypt the data while communicating between the front-end & backend and also provide encrypted storage on the backend-based database.
Encryption is one of the easy-to-setup and useful tools to make sure app is going to be secure & sensitive user data is safe within it - it's a shame many developers forget about it sometimes.
3. Reverse Engineering - essentially, reverse engineering is a methodology of understanding how something works going backwards - from the output to input.
Within software space that's one of the main tools for hackers & people who'd like to steal your data - since once you understand how the code works it's easy to get what you want from it.
Reverse engineering is also a very exciting & interesting process to follow since it requires a deep level of understanding not only of basic implementations and how things look like on the surface but also low-level knowledge of how the actual technology works & implementations of low-level programming language concepts.
4. Malicious Code Injection Exposure - that's something that causes a higher threat on the web-based apps, but sometimes can touch mobile platforms as well. It's about input data you're getting from the users & forms you use for it - hackers can input the code into the input fields which would be processed on the service & can cause damage to the whole service.
5. Data Storage - this part is about foundations parts where your app lays being hacked - I'm talking about operational systems, databases, hostings, etc.
If the user has a jailbroken device & using your application through it there is a high chance the data of this user could be stolen & users with malicious intentions will get access to internal application resources.
Following these 5 major points & making sure your app is covered from a security point of view should provide you with a strong defensive shield in 98% of cases when 3rd party is trying to steal your users' data.