Adapting to a Mobile World Brings Security Risks


Mobile apps are software developments that cater to the on the go customer, accessible through wireless devices, such as smart phones or tablets.

Over the past couple of years, mobile apps have increased in popularity among users.

A recent survey suggests that customers are using “9 apps per day, 30 per month.”

Businesses have caught onto this fact, and have started to develop mobile apps that build brand recognition and improve customer engagement.

So, once your company has developed these apps, how can you be sure the software is protected from malware and ransomware attacks?

“Today, when we have the luxury of accessing the internet on our mobile phones, it has become utmost important to guard the devices with the shield of protection. You are already aware of the fact that not all websites are considered safe for visiting. The same can be said about mobile apps as well.” According to TNW

Relying on the internet increases security risks, and businesses must start securing these apps to protect its customers and important data, especially industries such as finance and healthcare that hold customers’ most personal information.

There are a few things that companies can do to make sure the mobile apps are guarded.

Start With API’s

Mobile development relies heavily on API’s. It is crucial to understand what an API is before developing an app and its security.

API’s stand for Application Programming Interface, responsible for all behind the scenes work that apps rely on to function properly.

  • Application: An app has to have a function, or application, in order to work properly. This function communicates with the user and deals with the inputs and outputs of the app.
  • Programming: The programming aspect of the app is the engineering aspect of the software.
  • Interface: An interface is how users interact with the application. This is the aspect of the app that includes users’ passwords and information.

“Security is a big concern with APIs—after all, you’re giving outsiders access to your servers and all they contain—which is why they have to be carefully constructed. APIs should give controlled access to assets, with permissions and other measures that keep too much traffic—or malicious traffic—from bringing down your server.” According to Upwork

Manage and Develop the Mobile App

Figuring out how to manage your app is the most important process while securing the software.

There are a few mobile management vendors that assist enterprises in taking the proper steps to protect its apps.

  • Mobileiron – Provides products that secure data-at-risk mobile devices such as application control, access control and inventory control.
  • Airwatch –  An enterprise platform that administers tools in order to increase security with threat detection and security management education.
  • MaaS360  – Provides companies with app wrappers or SDKs to protect in-house developed apps.

Secure Codes

Once you have explored the management aspect of the app, it is crucial for companies to understand the importance of coding, and how it can make or break the protection of an application.

App developers must start securing the app from the beginning. This can be done effectively through the use of code encryption.

“Encryption in simple language means to convert any data or confidential information into codes or cipher which is unreadable with the help of some special algorithm keys. It is one of the best secure ways to protect your data.” According to TNW. 

Once a code is developed, it is imperative for apps to be tested for vulnerabilities by running source code scanning.

“Testing app code is usually crucial in an app’s development process. Apps are being produced so rapidly, what should be an important step in the process often falls to the wayside to speed up a time to market.”  TNW Continues.

Malware and Ransomware Codes are Threats

Speaking of coding, having awareness of the dangerous malware and ransomware codes are imperative for companies to think about while managing an application.

Threatening malware codes have the ability to infect apps just by popping up on the users screen.

“The malware uses infected devices to generate large amounts of fraudulent clicks on advertisements, generating revenues for the perpetrators behind it,” CheckPoint Security stated.”  According to Guiding Tech.

Digital Diary explored what ransomware means in a recent post, and how it affects web servers. Now, ransomware has the ability to threaten mobile phones, including apps.

“We’ve seen Ransomware start to be developed for Android mobile devices,” said Eric Klonowski, Senior Advanced Threat Research Analyst at the anti-virus company Webroot. “All this is a major concern.” NBC26 reports.

Companies need to understand the threat that these attacks have on app software, then should act accordingly by implementing:

  • Policy for device usage – Privacy policy provides transparent communication between customers and companies, offering protection using specific guidelines which eliminate liabilities if a software is hacked.
  • Anti-virus software – Detect and prevent from any dangerous codes.
  • Strong authentication – Enabling users to create strong passwords decreases the threat of password theft and makes it harder for codes to infect the app.

Keychain is Important

Keychain keeps all customer’s information such as usernames, passwords etc. in one secured place.

The keychain was developed through Android and Apple iOS in order to increase password management.

“You may frequently interface with the Keychain when entering passwords in Safari. If you get a prompt to save the password, this will store the password safely in Keychain; when AutoFill is turned on, it will resurface your password when you visit the site in the future, giving you one-click login ability.” According to Tech Republic. 

Key management should be a priority for IT departments operating a mobile app by making sensitive customer data stored in the keychain, as opposed to on the device.

Having customer information accessible on the device makes the information vulnerable, therefore, making hacking easy.


The 4th edition of our Transformational CISO Assembly is open for application. Taking place this year on November 16-17, 2017.

Since mobile apps are being integrated into businesses more and more, it is crucial for CISO’s to be aware of the threats that come with mobile software. This new mobile world is driven by data, which creates an urgency for businesses to secure networks data and devices. Fortune 500 organizations are especially vulnerable as they have big data pools and thousands of people who need access.

CISO’s must plan for worst-case scenarios, stay ahead of latest IT Security transformation technology, and maintain their company’s information assets.

Millennium Alliance created this program to offer business leaders in all industries just that: the tools and knowledge to create an effective strategy to fight security risks through mobility.

This is not just another “IT Security” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Apply for Millennium Membership today.

Our agendas and attendee lists are for Millennium Members only. Apply today for access! Already a Millennium Member? Simply click the link and enter your password when requested.

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