Mobile Application Testing – Where is it?

I was reading a few articles about how mobile devices, because of their popularity, are now the focus of malicious hackers. I thought this was interesting because many companies are developing applications for the mobile platforms and based on the information I have heard, they really do not have a formal process to test these applications for security. Back in March, NetSPI put on a webinar on how to test for security issues in a mobile application. NetSPI also gave this presentation at Secure360 and OWASP NY. I was hoping I would see other companies putting out information on doing this kind of testing and I have seen a few. However, there has not been enough emphasis on mobile application testing. Maybe I am not on the right mailing lists, but many lists contain articles on defending the device itself. I have seen much of the emphasis on MDMs. This is good, but it does not prevent the application from doing a poor job of protecting sensitive data. A couple of questions to ask yourself about securing a mobile application: 

  • Do you know if the developers, either internal or third party, have put a back door in the application?
  • Do you know if your application is storing passwords or keys on its file system in the clear?
  • How about someone putting a malicious application on the Google or Apple stores and this application starts collecting this information?
  • How would your companies reputation be changed because of this, once it gets out to the press?

At a minimum, have the application tested by someone not involved in the development of the application; this can be internal personnel or an external company. At best, have the application and code reviewed for security flaws. What are your reasons you are not doing this? We do not know how We do not have the manpower There is not enough time These are just excuses. Learn the processes, call a company (such as NetSPI) to do the testing for you, but get it done and get it secured.

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