Designing and developing a mobile app is quite exciting. But the app you developed is far from done unless you’ve checked for its security. In the absence of penetration testing, your mobile app is vulnerable to malware and hackers.
Thorough penetration testing involves testing the network and database security in addition to the web application. A mobile application that has not been tested for security penetration exposes the user’s device and data to unauthorized access and misuse.
Mobile penetration testing is crucial for assessing the risks and security threats to the device on which the application will be installed. Here are the best practices to follow in the process of mobile app penetration to get the best out of your efforts.
1. Always Have Your Plan Written Down
How do you go about testing a new mobile application? Are there any particular things you look for? If you don’t have a structured plan regarding mobile app penetration testing, you could miss out on something important.
Always jot down your plan, laying out the step-by-step process you would like to carry out. Having everything written down makes your effort more manageable.
2. Know The Testing Environment
Once you have your plan ready, you would need to understand the testing environment. This means you should be aware of all the platforms and devices where you expect the app would be installed or hosted. Having the configurations for a device-related testing environment is very important. You might even have to jailbreak into operating systems like the iOS.
3. Take Charge Of The Testing Tools
Mobile app penetration testing isn’t that difficult if you have access to the right tools. Among the available tools, you’ll find some that are free to download while there are many others which need to be purchased from the vendors. If you have enough practice with penetration testing, it will be easy to pick the tools suitable for each environment. Otherwise, you’ll have to work your way through and research for the right tools.
4. Don’t Waste Time
Penetration testing usually involves checking the security across various platforms and devices. Of course, this is quite a time-consuming process. You’d also agree that mobile app development is a competitive process. Timing of launch can be your key to success if you manage to be the first mover in the market.
You need to be very efficient with your tasks to ensure that time is well managed. Keep your tests well structured and move on to the next test as soon as you’re satisfied with the first one.
5. Server Attacksg
Your mobile app will be hosted on a server from where it will be available for download. Besides testing the devices and operating systems, you should also check for the server’s security. The server should be secure and restrict unauthorized access, file uploads or resource sharing.
6. Network Attacks
Launching network attacks is just as important as launching server attacks. For this, you can make use of network sniffers. Network sniffers provide you with crucial information about network traffic and data pockets. This information can help you gain insights regarding network authentication and session management systems, as well as the encryption protocols.
7. Check Source Code Errors
To check for source code errors, you’ll need to layer the original code with a specialized piece of code. This can help you spot errors in the source code which can become a risk for a security breach.
8. Never Stop Practicing
Initially, you might find mobile app penetration cumbersome. You might even think of skipping the process altogether or just making some checks on the surface. But remember, running a number of penetration tests not only makes your mobile application hack-proof, it also sharpens your skills. You can also make use of websites that allow you to practice advanced mobile penetration testing.
The world of hackers is evolving faster than you can imagine. It is always better to test all aspects of mobile app security rather than assume the claims made by your server or network. We hope that the best practices we’ve listed out for you will come in handy when you conduct the next mobile app penetration test.