New technology always introduces new security risks, and mobile computing is no exception. Security concerns for mobile apps differ from traditional desktop software in some important ways. Modern mobile operating systems are arguably more secure than traditional desktop operating systems, but problems can still appear when we don’t carefully consider security during mobile app development. Data storage, inter-app communication, proper usage of cryptographic APIs, and secure network communication are only some of these considerations.
Many mobile app penetration testers have a background in network and web app penetration testing, a quality that is valuable for mobile app testing. Almost every mobile app talks to a backend service, and those services are prone to the same types of attacks we are familiar with in web apps on desktop machines. Mobile apps differ in that there is a smaller attack surface and therefore more security against injection and similar attacks. Instead, we must prioritize data protection on the device and the network to increase mobile security.
Let’s discuss the key areas in mobile app security.