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Mobile Security Testing

The variety of mobile applications is uncountable, and it is common for people to manage their personal information on their phones; however the risk occurs when some applications work with sensitive personal information, like applications that work with credit card data, or applications that provide access to bank accounts and store personally identifiable information. Users leave all that information in the application trusting that it will resist attacks from many angles - including malicious users who take over full control of the device.Therefore, security testing is extremely important in mobile applications to address the security threats to which users are exposed. This is why is required an experienced company to entrust the security testing of your mobile application.

In this way, security testing in mobile applications is a continuous duty and the risk reduction after testing is not always the optimum. With the expansion of applications, new security threats are emerging all the time, and it takes an effort to stay abreast of the situation and take the necessary action to keepan application secure as well as all the user information it manages.


There are six aspects involved in security testing for mobile apps:

  • Confidentiality - This refers to verifying that the app keeps private data private.
  • Integrity - Concern that the data is trusted and verified.
  • Authentication - This refers to the applications verifying the user's identity.
  • Authorization - This refers to control of user privileges.
  • Availability - This refers to how the application performsunder an attack to take the app offline.
  • Non-Repudiation - This verifies that the app keeps records of events.

Types of applications

We can list three types of mobile applications:

  • Native applications - Applications conceived for a specific platform.Native applicationsare expected to work only on the supported devices.
  • Web applications - Web applications that are expected to work or be accessed from any mobile device. These applications are built using standards like HTML5 and effectively housed online.
  • Hybrid applications - As the name implies, hybrid applications are partly web applications and partly native applications. Aweb-based user interface could have a layer of native application around it in order to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

Each type of application requires specific testing, but for all cases, it is necessary to consider two points:

  • Data protection - This refers to how the stored data is protected.
  • Traffic protection - This refers to protection of the data when it is moving across mobile networks. There is always a split between what is actually deployed to the mobile device and the central processing or data storage that is deployed to a server.

Some aspects to keepin mind when doing mobile security testing

There are some aspects of a mobile application thatcan represent potential vulnerability in terms of security:

Data flow: This focuses on where the data goes and verifies whether the data in transit is protected, validating that only specified people have access to it and determining the vulnerability of private information.

Data storage: This refers to where the data is stored and how it is protected. Security testing includes encryption and decryption techniques used for communication of sensitive data, checking multi-user support without any interference with the data between them, verifying the accessibility of all files that have been saved in the application by any unintended users, and detecting areas where the tested application does not receive any nasty content.

Data leakage: An important point about data leakage is identifying whether there are areas where data is leaking to log files or out through notifications.

Server-side controls: In short, this means taking all the steps necessary to verify that the back end is secure.