Today, businesses use mobile apps in inventive and appealing ways, from banking systems to healthcare to delivery applications. With new vulnerabilities being discovered daily, managing security risk on these platforms is becoming more and more difficult. Is your mobile app protected against hackers?

 Regardless of the size of your company, even if you have never experienced a breach, there is always a chance that there will be cyber security risks. And, as they say, prevention is better than cure. So to keep your mobile application safe and successful, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing are definitely the need of the hour.

In essence, the mobile application VAPT locates exploitable flaws in code, systems, applications, databases, and APIs before hackers can find and take advantage of them. Utilizing harmful apps has the potential to be risky, and untested apps could include faults that expose the data of your company.

Why is mobile vulnerability assessment important for your business?

The process of finding vulnerabilities in an app is known as vulnerability analysis. Although it is possible to perform this task manually, automated scanners are typically employed to pinpoint the most critical vulnerabilities. Vulnerability analysis comes in the forms of static and dynamic analysis.

A specific system’s vulnerabilities can be found through security testing, which also shields resources and data from harm. To identify any vulnerabilities already present, it simulates a cyber attack on the environment. Such tests increase testing productivity by automating certain operations, looking for defects that expose applications to risk, and finding those bugs.

It is advised that you do such checks on a frequent basis in order to ensure the integrity and security of your apps. In the present-day technological environment, mobile app vulnerability assessment is essential.

These are typical problems that affect mobile apps:

  • Storing or inadvertently exposing private information in a way that other phone apps could read it.
  • putting in place shoddy authentication and permission measures that hostile programmes or users may get over.
  • using data encryption techniques that are well-known to be weak or quickly cracked.
  • sending private information online without encryption.
  • These flaws could be taken advantage of in a variety of ways, for as by malicious software installed on a user’s device or by an attacker with access to the same WiFi network as a user.

What are the most common vulnerabilities in mobile applications?

Misuse of the Platform: This happens when an app misuses the capabilities or permissions of a platform.

Storing data insecurely: A common error among app developers is to believe that data is secure if it is kept on a client’s device. The data on a device is, nevertheless, in danger if it is stolen or tampered with. Similar to basic mistakes, failing to encrypt data or keep passwords securely can result in data theft.

Code of poor quality: The performance of the program may suffer from code that is full of errors, and it may also be more vulnerable to security breaches.

Coding fraud: The code of an app can be altered by perpetrators to produce fake copies of the program, which they then upload to independent app stores. From there, they can trick users into downloading the app, which will cause them to share their passwords and personal data.

Reverse Engineering: Just like a regular user, a threat actor can download an app and then try to modify its source code to steal private information.

Insecure Communication: Numerous mobile applications send private, sensitive information in an insecure manner. This could result in data theft if there is no strong encryption in place.

Weak authentication system: Mobile devices frequently limit PINs to 4 or 5 numbers, which leads to inferior authentication procedures in mobile apps. Additionally, they are not always online, which hinders continued authentication. As a result, exploitation of mobile authentication is frequently increased.

Inadequate cryptography: A hostile actor may be able to access or alter sensitive user data if encryption is not as secure as it could be or is not implemented correctly.

What is a penetration test for mobile applications?

A native mobile application is subjected to a security evaluation known as a “mobile application penetration test.” A smartphone-specific app is referred to as a “native mobile application.” It is programmed in a particular language designed for the corresponding operating system, usually Swift for iOS and Java, BASIC, or Kotlin for Android.

In the context of the mobile application, “data at rest” and “data in transit” security testing are often included in mobile app penetration tests. No matter if it is an Android, iOS, or Windows Phone app, this is true. As part of a penetration test, tools are used to automate some operations, increase testing speed, and detect flaws that can be challenging to find using only human analytic techniques.

In order to ensure exceptional accuracy and to harden a mobile app against malicious assaults, a manual penetration test offers a wider and deeper approach. While vulnerability assessments are responsible for identifying security flaws, penetration testing confirms that these issues are real and demonstrates how to take advantage of them. In order to access both the network level and important applications, penetration testing targets the app’s security flaws and weaknesses throughout the environment.

Mobile application penetration testing phases

  1. Discovery and Preparation: A crucial step in the penetration testing process is information collection. When doing the discovery phase, it’s important to keep in mind the following.
    • Knowing how the application is built and designed.
    • Knowing how the application’s data flows on the network.
    • Data collection through OSINT.
  • Analysis/Assessment: The pentester must examine the application both before and after installation. The analysis and evaluation procedure is somewhat unusual. Below are some examples of assessment methods:
    • Static Analysis – Only the application’s source code is used to do static (SAST) analysis. Other times, depending on the availability, it might use the decompiled source code and related files.
    • Archive analysis – Installation packages for Android and iOS apps are extracted and carefully reviewed with the goal of reviewing configuration files.
    • Dynamic analysis – Although the application is still running, this type of analysis is carried out. While keeping an eye on the communication between the application and server, it also incorporates forensic analysis of the file systems.
  • Mapping: Equipped with the intelligence acquired, the testers will explore the application and comprehend its architecture using a combination of automatic vulnerability scanning technologies and human procedures. The testers will find flaws, sensitive information, and possible entry points in this way. The tester will keep track of which vulnerabilities pose the greatest danger as they go and prioritize their testing based on these observations.
  • Exploitation: In order to understand how the program would respond to actual attacks, the exploitation step involves testing it with simulated ones. Malicious payloads, such as a reverse shell or a root exploit, are used to test target mobile applications. Using custom-made and publicly accessible exploits, a team tests each vulnerability identified by penetration testers.
  • Reporting: Mobile application penetration testing’s reporting of the results via technical papers and even an executive-level paper is its last stage. Although an executive-level report includes a high-level summary of your findings, management review is the most appropriate setting for it. In contrast to its counterpart, the technical report includes a list of vulnerabilities that have each been resolved individually, along with instructions on how to reproduce the vulnerabilities, risks associated with them, and suggested corrective actions.

The Mobile Application Penetration Testing Methodology uses intelligence gathering, evaluation, exploitation, and transparent reporting in all of its processes to improve the penetration testing process.

What security benefits can a mobile app expect from penetration testing?

By analyzing the application with either human or automated methods, mobile penetration testing checks mobile operating systems, software, and applications for security flaws. These methods are used to find security holes that might exist in a mobile application. A mobile application’s vulnerability to assaults is checked during penetration testing.

Penetration testing for mobile applications is an essential step in the evaluation process as a whole. The security of any firm is increasingly dependent on the security of mobile applications. Additionally, the information is kept locally on the mobile device. For businesses using mobile applications, data encryption and authentication are crucial safety considerations. Hackers’ most profitable targets are mobile apps.

  • Anticipate possible attackers’ strategies to prevent future attacks.
  • Before going live, exposing the app to a real-world setting.
  • When you launch an app with long-term goals, you must be ready to sustain your users.
  • Meet regulatory requirements and industry security standards.
  • Preserving your brand’s reputation when customers purchase a high-caliber product.
  • Identifying current and potential problems that can cause data leaks.
  • A thorough guide on how to solve these issues quickly and effectively.

Is your mobile application safe?

Worried that your mobile application might not be safe? Don’t stress out on that. We are here to help, and Elanus Technologies understands the significance of mobile application assurance. We also recognize that not all actions related to assurance are created equal.

We work hard to maintain our position as a leading supplier of mobile application penetration tests. We are an extremely flexible, amiable, and fun-loving environment, while also maintaining cutting-edge technical capabilities.

Contact us to schedule a call to discuss your mobile application penetration testing needs today.