Mobile applications hold the fabric of success and inclusivity for companies today. Irrespective of your organization's size, it is always possible that there will be cyber security threats, even if you have never encountered a breach before. The cost of global security violations and cybercrimes has been estimated at more than $50 billion a year. Each breach can sometimes cost up to $3 million every year.
Prevention of security breaches is often the sole occupation of cybersecurity experts. They try to uncover issues and gaps in all parts of the environment to mitigate risks. They look at the perimeter- routers, balancers, and firewalls, through mobile and static applications, network services, and network segmentation to web services to find security holes in applications before hackers find them. While security testing has always been a crucial organizational practice, businesses are now shifting entirely to the online landscape. This makes it essential to enhance cybersecurity even further.
One of the common ways to discover security vulnerabilities is through application security testing. This article will explore why mobile app security testing is irreplaceable for an organization.
Why you need mobile app security testing for your business
Security testing can identify weaknesses in a particular system and protect data and resources from attacks. It simulates a cyberattack on the environment to expose any existing vulnerabilities. Such tests automate specific tasks, seek out bugs that make applications vulnerable, and improve testing efficiency. To maintain the integrity and security of your applications, it is advisable that you carry out such tests at regular intervals. Mobile app security testing is a necessity in the current technological landscape. Here, we will look at seven such reasons:
Management of risks
Software security testing mitigates risks by eliminating vulnerabilities from the application interface. Unchecked weaknesses may become real threats in the future if they are overlooked or left unchallenged. Cybercriminals can identify your systemic flaws and use them to their benefit. The importance of security testing increases manifold if your enterprise uses third-party applications or outsourced or cloud-based services. With good testing practices, it is possible to predict the behavior of a malicious source—this ability arms organizations against future risk scenarios. By guessing the behavior of hackers, you can expose the flaws in your code and fix them accordingly.
Earning customer trust
Upholding company ethics and safeguarding its reputation are essential. Brand loyalty is a crucial factor in achieving this. Tests designed for this purpose are called penetration tests. It is a type of mobile app security check where testers use their advanced knowledge of IT and specialized tools to engineer a remote attack. They penetrate the client's environment and access it without authorization and proper permissions. This reveals the extent of the app's fortification and its vulnerability to such attacks.
Reduction of costs
Using application security testing can save money and resources. Although the expenses to acquire sophisticated tools to help testers are hefty, it is not comparable to the remediation cost.
Vulnerabilities discovered early can be fixed early on in the process. Having enough information about the flaws in the source code, bottlenecks, and security holes before launching the app can help resolve them on time. Fixing these issues at this stage is merely a revision, but if these changes are required after your app is live, it incurs several technical, legal, and PR losses. If the end-user experiences a breach, you are responsible for their losses too.
The more the applications are on downtime, the more it can lead to a loss of productivity. You can lose millions of dollars due to this. To prevent this loss of time and money, security testing is essential.
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Industry standards and compliance
Firstly, security testing is mandatory for ISO 27001 certification, HIPAA, FIPS 140-2, and OWASP methodology. Cyber security laws hold this necessary. Further, the regulatory standards in compliance mandates also mention punitive fines if the rules are broken. Adhering to these regulations is essential to keep the security flawless. Since security testing is crucial for the Software Development Life Cycle, it is not a surprise that mobile app security testing is now a mandatory part of the mobile application development lifecycle.
Customers need to be offered a sense of trust and security to continue their brand loyalty. Security testing plays an important role here to help provide customers with a solid security system that promises no hacking and security breaches of their data. Gaining trust can go a long way in the customer-enterprise relationship.
Worry-free launch process
A pivotal aspect of the whole endeavor of software security testing is that it ensures peace of mind for the developers. When you know that your application has been tested for all possible bugs and systemic vulnerabilities, you can rest assured that there will not be imminent threats to the app. Once the mandatory technical and user acceptance testing is performed, the acceptance ensures that the application meets the business requirements and customer demands. Over and above this, the security risks are also mitigated via testing.
Working with Third-party vendors
Several services on almost every mobile application run on the backend. Hence, it is necessary to conduct security tests as apps are developed by third-party agencies that may be unaware of the different security standards and compliance requirements. Mobile app security testing also investigates the app's behavior besides testing its source code. How it will work at the endpoint- with storage, certification, and personal data- is also tested here. This helps polish the work of external vendors who often do not have enough knowledge or experience of IT infrastructure to do all this themselves. Sometimes they lack the resources for such extensive tests as well. So, when leveraging third-party vendors, testing becomes even more essential.
Sometimes these vendors promise security tests. However, you can only know if it is up to the mark of the required compliance guidelines if you conduct the tests yourself. Assuming a high level of security but having a low one in actuality can adversely compromise the confidentiality and integrity of your organization.
Testing your security team
Having application security testing as a crucial part of the whole app development process and the project, on the whole, can help you check the responsiveness of your organization’s security team. The responsiveness of the team in terms of their:
- Time of response
- Quality of response
- Reaction accuracy
If teams fail to react as expected, then there must be certain flaws that need to be overcome. We can also test the quality of this service in the same way if the support is outsourced as well.
Evolving technologies have also increased the threat of cyber attacks and ransomware incidents. With the availability of more sophisticated and refined technological tools, it becomes necessary to have mobile app security testing as a process integral to your app development lifecycle. Security is a thing that speaks directly of application hygiene. Enterprises must adopt security checks even though it is expensive. However, in skipping this ever-important step, a lot can be compromised, including customer trust and the more than double cost of fixing issues after the application is live. Hence, it is no longer acceptable or even possible to imagine a technological landscape where app development would not include security checks as an integral part of the whole enterprise.
1. When should security testing be done?
Generally, security tests are performed right before a system is up for production. Once the system is no longer constantly and dynamically changing, it is ideal for testing any technique or software before it is launched.
2. What is a mobile security assessment?
In mobile security assessments, security professionals test vulnerabilities through simulated attacks to assess a particular app's security strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing the internal controls and code to investigate potential malware and danger is the purpose of this process.
3. What is a security-centric approach?
Data-centric security is an approach that emphasizes dependability on data itself rather than the security of networks, servers, or applications. The protection and security of the data are of utmost importance to projects which take such an approach.
4. Can security testing be automated?
Most security tests can be automated throughout the Software Development Life Cycle.
5. What are the advantages of DevSecOps?
The two most important advantages of DevSecOps are speed and security. Improvement bunches pass on better, more secure code faster, thus making it more cost-effective.