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Product Development

7 Common Risks and Solutions For Mobile App Security

Prasanna Gopinath
June 26, 2019

Mobile app development has become a target for hackers seeking to obtain personal information and files illegally. That's extremely dangerous for marketplaces, banks, insurance companies, and the user himself.

Guaranteeing your mobile app’s security is essential for your business reputation and users’ safety. Failing in that may lead to stolen or manipulated user data. It’s entirely possible to jeopardize all the resources spent on development and what’s perhaps even worse - to damage your business reputation.

To help you deal with this massive problem, we have listed 7 common risks that threaten mobile app security and some solutions to help you avoid them.

1. Poor Authorization and Authentication

Poor authentication allows an adversary to operate the mobile app or it's backend anonymously. Mobile internet connections are not that reliable as traditional web ones, which means that mobile apps may require offline authentication to maintain uptime.

Developers must know that these requirements can create security loopholes. In their offline mode apps are usually more vulnerable. They can allow users with low permissions to execute actions, entitled only to admins. For this reason, it's better to limit logins in online mode.

2. Weak Server Side Controls

Servers, where the communication between apps and users happen, have become a target to hackers. A significant problem arises if developers don't undertake traditional server-side security considerations. Reasons vary, starting from the lack of knowledge in a new language and finishing small security budget.

There's a very easy step for securing your mobile app for server-side vulnerabilities - map them out correctly. This brings out common issues to resolve. Consultation and even cooperation with cybersecurity expert works a long way.

3. Data leakage

Unintended data leakage can happen when you use an insecure connection to store important app data. This makes data easily accessible by others, which might lead to its unauthorized use.

A similar problem is unauthorized data leakage. It might be caused by OS bugs or negligence of security in the framework. That’s not in control of developers. Despite that, users can take the appropriate steps to avoid uploading and working with sensitive data regardless of insecure connections.

4. Untrusted inputs

The world of mobile app development is full of hidden functionalities. In case, they are implemented incorrectly, this might lead to improper app behavior. This grants higher levels of permissions to a potential attacker. An application that maintains communication between clients and servers uses an IPC mechanism. It’s also used to connect different apps and accept data from various sources.

To securely satisfy business needs for IPC communication, the mobile app should restrict access to selected apps only. Before performing sensitive action through the IPC entry points, user interaction should be required. Just in case, avoid passing any sensitive information through the IPC mechanism.

5. Inadequate transport layer protection

The transport layer is the route through which data is transferred from customer to the server and vice versa. If the transport layer is insufficient, hackers might gain access to the data and steal it.

To encrypt this communication, common choices are TLS and SSL. You can strengthen the transport layer by using industry standard cipher suites with appropriate key lengths as they are stronger. In addition, avoid sending any sensitive data such as passwords over SMS or notifications.

6. Binary protections

If binary protections are missing, a hacker can reverse engineer the code of the app and inject malware. Their existence is crucial for mobile app security. Otherwise, confidential data may be stolen and revenue lost.

No matter if you are a CEO of an iOS app development company or a user, use binary hardening techniques to prevent potential bugs and issues. This also allows for fixing any vulnerabilities in the legacy code. There are many secure coding techniques that a mobile app has to follow. These include debugger detection controls and jailbreak detection control, to name a few.

7. Session handling

An improper session handling is the continuance of the previous session even when the user has switched from the mobile app. E-commerce companies usually enable these longer sessions to provide a better user experience.

This is a dangerous practice as whoever has access to your device might overtake control of the app and steal data. To provide the same user experience for privacy protection would be the best to use re-authentication for the more important actions.


Preventing cybercrime and guarantee the data security after the process of app development for iOS and Android is essential not only for top mobile app development companies, but for users as well. Don’t hesitate to use approved guidelines to improve apps’ security. Take extra care of that aspect as it’s crucial for the usage of your app.

We've mentioned 7 risks and most effective solutions and  top tools for mobile app development  which help in improving and upgrading the usage itself. Now that you have the information, you're one step closer to preserving your brand from any potential cyber attackers.

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Prasanna Gopinath