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Everything You Need to Know About Mobile App Vulnerabilities

Today, a smartphone with an internet connection is a primary tool for millions of people to stay in touch with their colleagues and relatives, make quick purchases, do business, exchange and store data, and much more. In 2020, there were over 4 billion unique mobile internet users around the globe, making over 90% of the world’s internet population. The number of smartphone users is steadily growing every year with 6,378 million users in 2021 and 7,516 expected by 2026. All these reasons make smartphones a tempting target for cybercriminals.

There are millions of users and companies that suffer from mobile app vulnerabilities every year.

mobile application security

All these stats signify that the security of mobile apps is a significant issue for businesses and their customers and it requires continued attention.

In this article, we’ll look into how mobile apps with a lack of security can negatively impact their users and businesses, what are the common security threat types, and how to secure your mobile app effectively.

Impact of Weak Mobile App Security

Mobile security is one of the major issues that concern everyone – from individual users to large corporations. There are a variety of ways how weak mobile app security can adversely affect businesses and individual users. Let’s have a closer look at them.

Disclosure of Private Data

By using a mobile app infected with a virus, hackers reach a mobile device’s functions. For example, they can obtain user’s logins from social media, emails, and banking, steal personal data on the device, change the smartphone’s settings like GPS location, IP address, send SMSes, and much more.

Infecting a smartphone with viruses is a popular way for cybercriminals to get the needed data. Statista has found out that the number of detected malware packages installed on mobile devices around the globe from 2015 to 1Q 2021 reached nearly 1.5 million cases.

Access to Financial Information

Once a user downloads a malicious package and installs it on their mobile device, all the data, including mobile banking logins, credit/debit card numbers, history of banking transactions, and other private data falls into the hands of hackers.

In 2020, Kaspersky laboratory reported on Ginp mobile Trojan virus. It tried to reach for the banking data of Spain, Poland, and the UK users by overlaying apps with phishing pages and generating fake SMS messages for their victims to get access to their banking data.

Intellectual Property Rights Violation

Mobile gadgets aren’t the only ones that suffer from hacker attacks, some cybercriminals aim at app code bases in order to create app clones. The more a mobile app becomes successful on an app store, the more attempts hackers will make to clone it. As a result, the original app loses its followers, revenue, and brand confidence.

Although there is no standard solution on how to avoid app cloning, app owners try to protect their apps in many ways by implementing app verification certificates, using app-protecting SDKs, and much more.

Key Types of Mobile App Security Threats

Once in 3-4 years The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a non-profit foundation on software security, releases its Top 10 list of the most common security risks and vulnerabilities for mobile apps. Based on these common security threats, software engineers develop their app vulnerability tests and app protection procedures.

mobile app data security

World-known IT security companies such as Kaspersky and CSO create their common security threats lists, relying on the OWASP rating. The latest Kaspersky and CSO mobile vulnerabilities update includes the following issues.

Data Leakage

Data leakage vulnerability can happen when sensitive data is sent from the server to the client as a response, in case of an app to app communication, application framework version disclosure, or through app caches.

The app can reveal sensitive data due to incorrect app or server configurations when the app has differences in page responses for valid and invalid data and other technical issues. Some other cases can include improperly locked and lost devices, downloading risky apps