Why Mobile App Security Testing is Important?
In this digital era, we spend a great deal of our time on mobile apps: communicating with one another, online shopping, working, playing, etc. Smartphones have become an indispensable part of us and the extension of our daily life. Even sleeping and getting up, every job is directly connected with mobile apps.
And with so much happening in this ecosystem, the risks and security issues are paving their way, too. While using our phones, we keep a tone of personal information there like passwords, sensitive data, medical history, and confidential records. Not to mention that mobiles are easy to lose, which means in case someone finds them, he can have physical access to the phone. Mobile app security testing is necessary to protect your privacy and data from leaking or becoming a theft target.
So, let’s go on and discover what mobile testing is and how it works.
The Process and Guidelines of Mobile Application Security Testing
The mobile app development process brings a lot of security risks to the mobile computing industry. Although modern mobile devices operating systems are more secure compared to traditional desktop operating systems, safety threats and concerns still exist. The risk zone can be data storage, secure network communications, cryptographic APIs usage, and others. And it’s where mobile app security test comes to help.
The main purpose of mobile application security testing is to validate an app’s resistance to different attacks and malicious requests. The dynamic and static analyses and penetration testing results are the best combinations of the manual security testing process for finding and detecting vulnerabilities.
Below we listed some security tests guidelines you can consider while developing a testing strategy for your mobile device.
- Environment knowledge: To know the platforms that will be used for running the application is the first step.
- A list of security vulnerabilities: Depending on the application type and characteristics, vulnerability risks can be different. It means a certain mobile security testing guide should be used for each type of application: Testing Guide for Android devices, General Testing Guide or IOS App Testing Guide. It will ensure the detection of vulnerable components and elements before the app’s release.
- Preparing multiple defense strategies: These strategies include various testing tools with dynamic, static, and forensic analyses. When all of these are implemented together, it’s easier to find the loopholes in the application.
- Running tests: Looking at the application’s security system from the hacker’s perspective can better showcase the weak points and elements of the app.
Key Factors of Mobile App Security Testing
The factors listed below are the main forces in mobile app security testing. Let’s have a quick look:
- Mobile Devices: A device is the fundamental factor of mobile testing. It’s important to test the app in different operating systems and resolutions.
- Mobile Stimulators: Mobile Stimulators have a leading role in the mobile testing process. A simulator is a virtual software that imitates the device’s operating system and processes the application on the selected device. These stimulators are cost-effective and easy to implement. One of the advantages of mobile stimulators is that they are usually available for use without any constraints.
- App Performance: You can use automated security tests for checking the application’s performance and verifying its behavior.
- Cloud Testing Tools: Mobile security testing process includes testing various operating systems, devices, and different versions. For checking the app’s functionality, it’s necessary to run it on both IOS and Android platforms. You can use cloud-based based mobile app testing tools: Perfecto, Browserstack, and Pcloudy are some of the available tools.
- Network Conditions: Testing your mobile app under challenging network conditions is necessary. It helps you to see your app’s consistency and behavior.
- Manual and Automated Test Period: Native and hybrid applications should be tested via manual and automated methods to find issues, bugs, and failures quickly.
Security Testing Tools for Mobile Apps
A number of mobile application security tools (both free and commercial) are available in the market. They assess mobile applications using dynamic and static testing methods with different effectiveness degrees. But it’s also important to mention that these tools don’t provide a comprehensive assessment of the mobile app. It would be best if you run a combination of both dynamic and static testing. The mobile application security controls the testing process considering source code analysis, configuration issues, and malware analysis for a complete result.
Here is a list of free to use tools suggested by security researchers:
- OWASP ZAP
The OWASP ZAP is one of the most popular mobile app security testers. This app is free to use. The OWASP mobile is great for detecting security vulnerabilities in mobile applications during the development phase.
This mobile app security tool enables users to find and resolve safety issues while writing code. Developers can get real-time offers and suggestions and fix them immediately.
QARK (Quick Android Review Kit) is created for codified security testing and finding safety risks in Android apps. It’s also free to use.
Mobile Security Framework is from the group of automatic mobile app security testers. It is used for mobile apps capable of performing static, dynamic, and API testing.
It’s an open-source testing tool helping developers to prompt for passwords, encrypt application data and enforce enterprise policies.
In the last few years, mobile applications have created another level of comfort and convenience for us. However, apart from the benefits and advantages, these innovations unlock the doors of personal, confidential, and sensitive information to hackers and fraudsters.
That’s why mobile apps should have a better understanding of generic security requirements and try to prevent possible risks and threats, by implementing software security strategies. The users, in their turn, need to be aware of how to protect their data and personal information from data thieves and what safety tips and policies they should follow.