Common Mobile App Security Issue: Guide To Address Them

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Undoubtedly, the number of mobile applications is growing day by day. People are getting more accustomed and comfortable connecting with the world from their mobile devices. In this fast-paced life, people don’t have the time to use their laptops and desktops for surfing the internet or using web applications; hence, there is a rapid increase in mobile applications.

With the rise in mobile application demand, the thing that is mostly faced by mobile app developers is security issues. Technologies have their costs and benefits at once; considering the security, hackers have been becoming more proficient in their activities.

While developing a mobile application, security is the most important. If you are thinking about investing in applications, then you must know all about mobile application security. Additionally, consider hiring a leading mobile app development company to get professional services ensuring your app’s security.

To get more insight, go through this guide to learn the different security issues that take place during mobile app development. The guide puts light on different ways through which developers can prevent security attacks.

Insecure Communication

In a general mobile application, data is exchanged in a client-server manner. So when the application transmits data, it flows through the device’s carrier network and internet. At this point, attackers might exploit the security vulnerabilities to get their hands on user data or sensitive information.

There are ways to protect the information on your device; this can be prevented by securing the connection once you have identified the endpoint server. When applying SSL/TLS to the mobile application, you need to ensure that you can implement it on the transport channels where the mobile application can transverse sensitive data such as credentials, session tokens, etc.

So, consider putting up an additional layer of encryption to the sensitive data before it is given to the SSL channel. Most of the security vulnerabilities are found in the SSL implementation; this will act as a secondary defense against the attacks.

Lack of Input Validation

This is the process of assessing input data to make sure that it is appropriately formed and prevents data that consists of harmful code or can trigger a malfunction in the mobile application.

When the input of the mobile application can not be validated properly, the application could be at risk as the attackers might inject malicious data input and get access to the application’s sensitive information.

There are a number of ways through which you can implement input validation by various programming techniques that facilitate effective enforcement of data correctness, for example, minimum and maximum value range check, input validation against JSON scheme and XML schema, etc.

Furthermore, a more effective of preventing security attacks is through only allowing the known and rejecting the bad.

Insecure Data Storage

Insecure data storage happens in SQL databases, data stores, cookies stores, etc. Insecure data storage creates vulnerabilities that can compromise jailbroken devices, frameworks, and other attacks.

Attackers can easily overcome the security protocols of a mobile application if not implemented precisely, for example, poor encryption libraries that can be bypassed by rooting or jailbreaking the mobile device.

In case any attackers get access to a device or database, they will get access to modify the original application to the systems. In case any attacker access a device or database, they will be able to modify the original application or extract information from the systems.

And if you need to share data with other application processes, consider using a content provider that provides read and write permissions to other applications with dynamic permission access on a case-by-case basis.

Furthermore, you can consider local file encryption that has sensitive data. By limiting access to prone data permissions, you can significantly decrease the risk of exploitation of the permissions, which will make your mobile application vulnerable to attackers.

Client Code Security

Code security issues are highly common in mobile applications. Most of the issues might take a considerable time to detect using manual codes. The tools can identify injection issues, weak security, insecure data storage, and other security-related issues.

Talking about implementing code security, maintaining constant secure coding practices that do not lead to vulnerable code can prevent poor code quality issues. While using buffers, make sure that the length of the incoming buffer is validated and does not exceed the length of the target buffer.

With that said, memory leaks and buffer overflows can be detected through third-party static analysis tools. Furthermore, ensure that you prioritize solving issues such as buffer overflows or memory leaks. These issues tend to give rise to more security risks and can be easily exploited.

All in all, make sure to analyze and review the code and precisely identify the vulnerabilities and threats in the application.

Insufficient Authentication and Authorization Controls

Poor authentication schemes might enable the attackers to perform functionalities in the mobile application or the server used by the application. Authentication requirements in mobile applications are different from traditional web applications, as the users do not have to go online every minute of the session.

Moreover, poor authorization might impact the security of a mobile application. If an attacker manages to execute high-privilege, for example, administrator’s actions, this might result in data theft, modification, or compromise of backend services.

There are many ways in which you can implement proper authorization and authentication for enhanced mobile security. Firstly, you can ensure that the authentication request takes place on the server side. Through this, the data will only be loaded after successful authentication.

Verify the roles and permissions of authenticated users using only data contained in backend systems. Additionally, multi-factor authentication can be used to validate a user’s identity; this can be done through one-time passwords, captcha, security questions, etc.

No Penetration Testing

Pen testing will help you determine the real-time security vulnerabilities or flaws in the application. As per research, most companies perform penetration testing to prevent data breaches. But many times, due to short deadlines or carelessness, developers skip the step and release the application. And that can put the users at risk.

Although, this can be prevented by implementing the certain practice. No matter how close the deadline is, always make sure that you perform multiple pen tests on the application. This will save a lot of time in addressing future security breach cases. Also, this will help identify security flaws that can be fixed and make sure the website or application development is safe.


There are a number of ways to build a hack-proof mobile application against attacks from unknown sources without any security measures. The best practices in mobile app development security are the way to go and keep the application protected at all times. Now, the world is out in the open for everyone, and no user is completely safe from security and malware breaches, but the measures make sure that personal data is safe in the devices.

Author Bio

Common Mobile App Security Issue: Guide To Address Them

Ciaran Stone is the CEO of Square Root Solutions, – An well-known mobile app development company that helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups transmute their app development ideas into actual mobile applications. In his spare time, Ciaran likes to write an article on different aspects of app development.



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