Reading time: 14 minutes
PUBLISH DATE: Dec 22 2023
UPD: Jan 25 2024
Reading time: 14 minutes

Mobile App Security Checklist for 2023

Do you want to learn the key concepts of mobile app security? This article will teach you how to configure it properly!

We’ve all heard street legends about smartphones listening on their users. In these legends, ads for objects discussed in dialogues near smartphones appear in advertisement lists. As a result, a typical mobile app security checklist recommends removing smartphones from any rooms with important conversations. Most likely, this occurrence is nothing but a coincidence. Many mobile application development services predict your wants based on non-audio algorithms. What isn’t a coincidence is the overall ability of smartphones to spy on users. Criminals can easily install malware and then record your phone calls or screenshot text messages. A whole commercial industry arose around this capability. In this regard, one of the most famous malware apps is Pegasus. This piece of software was used to spy on opposition politicians several times. Multiple countries are openly paying its legal Israeli developer for this service. 

Many pieces of spyware also target business users. How do they enter mobile systems? The key point of entry primarily includes bugs in third-party services, such as operating systems. Another significant framework is using some security flaw in a popular app. In this light, an investment in mobile app security software development cycle can prevent a hacking incident or identity theft. Consequently, the main goal of this article is to discuss mobile app security checks. We’ll show you how to configure this aspect and stop attacks on your internal systems from exposing confidential files.

What is Mobile App Security?

Let’s start with a definition of mobile app security. We can say that mobile app security is about securing mobile apps. Nonetheless, this definition won’t say anything new for the users who seek enhanced security. As a result, it makes sense to look at specific elements of mobile app security. Modern mobile app security isn’t simply about securing apps but about doing this through modern means. What are some of those modern means? Here’s the mobile app development security checklist.

  • Creating high-quality authentication systems. The use of such systems can prevent unauthorized intrusions into the user systems and exposure of sensitive files. Hackers shouldn’t be able to steal passwords or enter systems without permission.
  • Ensuring the absence of system-critical bugs. Certain apps, regrettably, expose the internal parts of operating systems to potential security risks. For example, we know that gaming consoles, which have the strongest anti-piracy protection methods on the market, have been hacked this way several times. Bugs in video games were sufficient to get into those systems. There are reports of similar problems on smartphones. In this respect, Oppo used to feature a bug in its Kash app that asked for root access. For many hackers, this permission was sufficient to hack into vital systems. You need to ensure your app doesn’t have such bugs if you want to guarantee security.
  • Providing high-quality encryption for your apps. Occasionally, it’s inevitable that the hackers will break into your systems. What should you do in such cases? You should be well-prepared to protect your data. The best way to do this is to offer encryption options. For instance, if your app contains vital data about the customer, it makes sense to encrypt it. Even if the hackers get into the key systems, they won’t be able to decipher this information. In this way, encryption is the final fail-safe solution for modern businesses.

The Importance of Mobile Application Security

Small apps and mobile security

We’ll look at the key elements to add to a mobile app security checklist further on. Why? Many developers question if they need to care about business apps’ security all the time. Why does this occur? Not all apps are highly complex. Some of them provide extremely basic functions. In this light, it may seem reasonable to think that there’s no need for further investments due to lack of space for security vulnerabilities. In our opinion, this view is incorrect. Here are the top reasons to invest in mobile app security standards. Even if your app is small, caring about mobile app security makes sense.

Top 10 reasons to invest into mobile app security

Top 10 reasons to invest into mobile app security

Protects Sensitive Data

Mobile app security safeguards sensitive information. Usually, such information includes personal details and financial data. Why is this so important? In our opinion, the reason is simple: no one wants their personal information to leak. As a result, any data loss can end in massive reputation problems for the company that encountered a leak. In one way or another, modern mobile systems often expose users. Some researchers report that the data of up to 100 million users is constantly being leaked. Why? Some minor misconfigurations during app development led to this issue. One app with low-quality security can expose an entire smartphone.

Prevents Unauthorized Access

Robust security measures prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to mobile apps. This approach, once again, protects sensitive user data. More importantly, it ensures that the hackers don’t get any opportunities to hack into other systems. Proper authentication protection is essential for protecting users against long-term security concerns.

Builds User Trust 

A secure mobile app fosters trust among users. Why? They start to feel confident that their data is protected. All this results in increased user loyalty and positive brand perception. Many users prefer discomfort to low security. For instance, many Linux users are adamant about using the system not due to comfort. Often, Linux OSes (especially for smartphones) are uncomfortable to use. They don’t have all the vital tools to ensure user comfort.

What do they have instead? Those operating systems are open source and have various strong features for protecting the users. For example, Linux Parabola is notable for having no proprietary packages. Librem 5 smartphone by Purism offers a similar smartphone experience. It uses PureOS, an operating system that isn’t based on Android but on pure Linux. Such systems are typically infamous for being difficult to use. At the same time, they’re much safer than anything else on the market.

Mitigates Financial Risks

Often, mobile app security involves major financial risks. Proper investments into securing your apps can mitigate them. Firstly, security measures help prevent financial fraud and cyberattacks. Various financial apps face bugs that lead them to financial losses. For example, multiple cryptocurrency wallets were hacked. An investment in some of the methods mentioned above prevents financial risks. Secondly, proper app security also reduces the risks of lawsuits against you. App owners become a target of government prosecution for insufficient protection measures. The only way to avoid those issues is to keep cybersecurity in mind. A small investment into encryption can remove many of your cybersecurity problems.

Ensures Regulatory Compliance

Mobile window

Currently, there are numerous government regulations regarding security. For instance, the EU has GDPR and PCI-DSS. Both regulations feature strict requirements for modern developers. You have to use encryption and minimize the collection of sensitive user data. Many companies are facing large fines for their inability to follow those standards. In this light, adhering to security standards and protocols is essential for mobile apps. Simple investments into encryption and proper authorization help comply with data protection regulations. In this way, it’s possible to avoid legal consequences and penalties.

Maintains Brand Reputation 

A positive brand name is the backbone of success in the modern business world. Companies like Apple get away with many anti-consumer choices due to their reputation. For example, a recent decision to put only 8 gigabytes of RAM into an expensive MacBook Pro model didn’t damage Apple. The products of the company remain high-quality enough to maintain popularity. If your app fails at security, this event will inevitably spoil your reputation. People put trust in your app when they offer some sensitive information to it. A secure mobile app preserves the brand reputation by avoiding security breaches. In this way, you can avoid negative publicity and loss of customer trust.

Guards Against Malware and Viruses 

A common way of hacking smartphones is using unsigned apps. Various hackers create fake versions of certain apps to break into user systems. They modify the existing apps to achieve this. What’s the key way to avoid such a problem? In our opinion, you should consider tactics for tacit malware detection. Your app should have integrity mechanisms that work even if some files undergo major changes. Implementing such security measures protects mobile apps from malware and viruses. 

Enhances Overall User Experience

Users are more likely to enjoy and engage with a mobile app that prioritizes security. For example, let’s imagine you have a journaling app. If this app is safe, more people will give their personal information. As a result, the overall user experience will be better. There will be no need to worry about someone unauthorized reading your diary.  

Facilitates Secure Transactions

For apps handling financial transactions, robust security ensures the safety of payment processes. Regrettably, recent years have seen multiple cases of destructive financial app hacks. For instance, some hackers use SIM card swaps to break into user systems. Consequently, certain individuals report that hackers could steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from them. The only way to minimize this challenge is to implement strong security measures. Otherwise, more and more people will start avoiding mobile apps for finances. 

Prevents Service Disruption

Occasionally, the goal of hackers isn’t to get any information. All they want is to disrupt your service. In this case, a hacking attack on your servers or app elements can work. Some common pathways include DDoS or mobile virus infection. Mobile app security measures prevent disruptions caused by cyberattacks. This way, you can ensure uninterrupted service and a seamless user experience. This threat isn’t vital for every business. Still, if you have a stock exchange app, a disruption can end in major financial losses for the users. The key path to avoiding them is to consider anti-DDoS and anti-malware frameworks.

What is Mobile App Security Testing?

Mobile app security testing focuses on finding issues with security that your app has. In short, its idea is to test all potential problems that can arise. What are some of the most common ways to perform this testing? Firstly, it makes sense to invest in security audits. In this respect, the idea is to look at the existing capabilities of your apps to find potential challenges. A good example of a security audit practice is code review.

Mobile app security testing must always include a study of your code. The removal of low-quality coding practices often leads to major improvements in security. It also makes sense to look at the open-source packages your company is using. An efficient mobile app security checklist requires a focus on secure libraries. Every app uses some outside code as its building block. Ultimately, if you use secure foundation blocks, your entire app will be more secure.

Secondly, potent mobile app security testing requires penetration analysis. What do we mean by this element? The idea of penetration testing is simple. You do everything to hack into your mobile app. Various ethical hackers on the market offer their services for this goal. You can ask professionals to search for security problems in your app. Their key goal is to find as many issues as possible. Then, all you need to do is close down those issues. In short, it’s a trial-and-error method. You start with an imperfect model and then perfect it through errors. 

Ultimately, mobile app security testing pushes us towards three practices:

  • Strong coding habits: the creation of high-quality code that is difficult to break into.
  • Usage of safe packages for app basics.
  • Regular penetration testing is aimed at finding as many issues as possible.

The Most Common Challenges for Mobile Apps Security

The most common challenges for mobile apps security

Every potent mobile app security checklist requires a clear understanding of potential threats. Here are the top challenges for mobile app security these days.

#1: Malware

The first threat to your app security is malware. Usually, malware exists in two forms.

Phone-centric malware

On the one hand, there’s phone-centric malware. Various types of spyware have the ability to make screenshots. They don’t target your app exactly. Instead, they find vulnerabilities in the existing operating systems. What are the core ways to protect yourself against those problems?

Firstly, you should encrypt all information as much as possible. Even if malware can access user data, it won’t be able to do anything with it. Secondly, a strong practice is to invest in screenshot detectors. For example, you can warn customers that new unauthorized files appear in their system in common image formats. When information is too sensitive, adding physical protection makes sense, too. For instance, you can create visual puzzles that are accessible only to the user. In short, the ways to beat smartphone-centric malware are numerous. Nonetheless, you’re always limited in this respect. Here, the majority of security measures depend on internal phone security systems.

App-centric malware

On the other hand, proper mobile app security standards require attention to a different type of threat. In this respect, you should care about app-centric malware. Here, two models of malware are present. Some hackers find vulnerabilities in your security through external viruses. For example, they can use something like a Heartbleed bug. In other cases, perpetrators create fake apps and distribute them on the net.

The Times of India reports that hackers have managed to steal thousands of accounts with a fake Facebook app. They created an APK that looked legitimate and started to distribute it on various popular websites. As a result, many users entered their real credentials into this fake app and lost their accounts. The good news is, however, that this threat is the easiest to combat. You should simply inform your users that they can only download your app from key app stores. An authorized app from Google Play or App Store is typically safe. 

#2: Ransomware

Mobile and laptop

Another popular type of malware includes ransomware. Ransomware typically focuses on mobile phones rather than apps. However, it may use some apps as an entry point into the mobile system. For example, they can use a bug in your permission requests. If you ask for too many permissions, malware will use them to get hold of the internal storage.

What happens after ransomware gets hold of internal storage? It encrypts all information on your smartphone. If you connect your smartphone to a PC, it can also infect other devices. Why is this so vital? Various computers and smartphones hold a lot of important information. For instance, you can store some key chats on your telephone. A ransomware app will block them. Another way in which it can disrupt your work is by blocking vital deliverables. Situations with ransomware are typically so bad that many users pay hackers. For example, companies that lose all their project data due to ransomware have no choice but to pay. What’s the problem here? If hackers feel you have enough money to pay, they can ask for increasingly large sums. 

This issue is getting especially potent these days. Why? 2023 is the year of generative AI. This generative AI is notable for its ability to create working code for apps. This means modern hackers can create new models of ransomware daily. There’s no longer a need to develop new solutions for at least several days. AI is powerful enough to produce new types of ransomware almost every day. In this light, every mobile application security checklist must involve the possibility of ransomware disrupting an app.

#3: Cryptojacking

Modern smartphones have impressive characteristics. Many feature tremendous amounts of RAM (up to 20) and 8-core processors. It’s possible to run resource-intensive games on those devices. Products like Genshin Impact require a lot of processing power. In this light, hackers of all types gain an additional opportunity. What is this opportunity? They can use smartphones to mine cryptocurrency. Their processors and graphical chips are often sufficient for this goal. In this regard, the hackers find issues in certain apps. Then, they use those problems to install mining software. A common way to do this is to abuse app permissions. Access to file systems is often sufficient for performing transformations. Consequently, hackers can use your mobile phone to earn money for themselves.

Another way to perform cryptojacking is even more sinister. In this case, the hackers can use security issues to install clipboard-centric malware. What does it do? It waits for the moment you copy your crypto-wallet data. Then, it changes the crypto wallet address to the address of the hacker. This approach allows catching inattentive users off-guard. If you don’t check your credentials, it’s possible to send money to the wrong person. This type of cryptocurrency threat may seem easy to avoid. Nonetheless, various crypto hackers earn a lot by abusing it. For example, the Record reports that one hacker has managed to earn more than 500000 dollars this way.

#4: Insecure Coding

Lastly, a major security threat is insecure coding. In numerous instances, mobile app developers simply aren’t concerned about code safety. Why does this happen? Sometimes, individuals would rather not spend many hours developing an app. In other situations, they don’t have enough experience. 

Insecure code is the key reason hackers break into mobile systems. What are some core low-quality coding practices? Let’s take a look at their list:

  • Hardcoding Values

Hardcoding values like URLs, API keys, or magic numbers directly in the code poses major security risks. If hackers access your code, they’ll be able to get access to core functions immediately.

  • Lack of Code Comments

Failing to provide sufficient and clear comments within the code hinders collaboration and troubleshooting. All this leads to potential confusion and delays in future development.

  • Ignoring Error Handling

Neglecting proper error handling can result in unexpected crashes and obscure bugs. Apart from poor user experience, these issues easily end in highly dangerous bugs.

  • Monolithic Code Structure

Creating large, monolithic functions or classes without modularizing the code leads to reduced readability. More importantly, this issue makes it challenging to isolate and fix bugs or add new features.

How Cyber Threats Infiltrate Mobile Applications

How cyber threats infiltrate mobile applications

No mobile app security checklist can function without analyzing the key threat pathways. Cyber threats infiltrate modern mobile apps in multiple ways. Here are some of the pathways for entering the relevant apps:

#1: Weak Server-side Controls


This pathway exploits vulnerabilities in server-side apps and APIs that handle mobile data. Examples include inadequate authentication and authorization or lack of input validation. This problem may seem strange, but it indeed disrupts many companies. Several major leaks occurred because certain businesses didn’t create proper passwords for their Amazon Cloud. Insecure coding practices are also a major contributor to server-side issues. For example, your authorization system may be in place but can have some bugs. The pathways for hackers can be numerous here. Sometimes, entering random numbers into the authentication system may be enough to break it. In other situations, disrupting your system by abusing bugs in the interface may be possible.

All in all, these weaknesses occur due to human errors. Both bad coding practice and lack of caution are easy to remove. One has to have strong leadership and good oversight. What are the outcomes of the weak server-side control? In our opinion, they can be devastating for the involved companies. These weaknesses allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive user data. They can later use this data to perform malicious actions. Leaked data is enough to steal money from certain banking accounts. If you have a web app, hackers can try to inject malware into it. There were accidents in which hackers broke into servers hosting certain apps and changed the original versions to hacked ones. In short, this type of hacking exposes you to many dangers.


How do we mitigate those issues? We believe multiple ways to do this exist these days. Firstly, you should implement strong authentication and authorization mechanisms, including two-factor authentication. Today, various companies are offering safe solutions to their customers. All you have to do is install and configure such a solution properly. Secondly, we recommend thoroughly validating all user input before processing it. For instance, you should warn the users if they enter your servers from a new location. This approach will create some discomfort for users as they’ll have to confirm all new entries. Nonetheless, a proper warning can often be sufficient to prevent a legitimate hacking attempt.

We recommend following secure coding practices and using established frameworks and libraries. If you’re developing an internal authentication system, this should be enough. Lastly, you should regularly conduct security audits and penetration tests. They will help you identify and address vulnerabilities.

#2: Insecure Data Storage


Insecure data storage is also a big problem. What happens in this case? This pathway targets the way mobile apps store sensitive data on a device and in the cloud. Multiple common pathways for hacking data storage devices exist. What do they include? We believe the most dangerous issues involve weak encryption and lack of access controls. Above all, you have to remember that many systems are inevitably hacked. If you encrypt your data properly, any information leaks will be useless. 

Another problem occurs when companies don’t delineate access controls properly. For instance, a recent scandal involved data stolen by North Korean hackers. They entered multiple US companies as freelancers. Low access controls allowed those hackers to steal a lot of sensitive information. Besides, various negative situations occur due to insecure storage locations. They can expose sensitive information to attackers. How does this happen? Often, employees don’t create strong passwords for their cloud storage. As a result, numerous hacks occur because of insufficient attention on the part of the developers. In the end, the outcomes of the data leaks can be utterly devastating. The leaked content can include credentials, financial information, personal information, and even location data.


In our opinion, mitigating the presented dangers is simple. What are some core steps you have to consider in this regard? Above all, we recommend encrypting sensitive data at rest and in transit. Many strong encryption algorithms exist these days. In fact, you can go as far as using quantum-resistant ones. Multiple companies are developing encryption frameworks that are too complex even for quantum computing. There’s also an additional step. You should implement access controls to restrict access to sensitive data. This measure will mean only authorized users and apps will “see” it.

Moreover, we recommend using secure storage solutions such as hardware-backed keystores or cloud-based secure enclaves.

Lastly, don’t make a common error. Avoid storing sensitive data on the user devices directly whenever possible. It’s better to host all this vital data online.

#3: Insufficient Transport Layer Protection (TLS)


It’s also easy to “catch” app developers off-guard when information is in transit. This pathway exploits vulnerabilities in the communication channels between mobile apps and servers. Lack of or weak TLS implementation allows attackers to eavesdrop on communication, tamper with data, and even hijack user sessions. This issue happens in response to low-quality encryption or even its absence. It’s enough to use something like proper HTML protection. Some companies go as far as not to offer it.


How do we mitigate the presented problems? We believe there are multiple elements to consider for mobile app security standards. Primarily, ensure all communication between mobile apps and servers is encrypted. What is the best way to do this? You should use strong TLS protocols with current cipher suites. This factor alone will prevent the majority of the problems. Another important practice is to use certificate pinning to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. If you tie your protocols to user hardware, avoiding attacks on your servers will be easier. A potent practice is regularly updating TLS libraries and frameworks to address vulnerabilities. Proper updates can defend you against major vulnerabilities such as Meltdown. The more protection you’re offering, the better. In the end, we also recommend monitoring network traffic for suspicious activity.

Additional Security Measures:

In our opinion, there are also some additional security measures you should consider:

  • You should implement mobile device management (MDM) solutions. This approach will help you enforce security policies and manage devices remotely.
  • You should use secure coding practices and libraries designed for mobile development. Non-mobile frameworks can easily become a source of major vulnerabilities.
  • We recommend you regularly update mobile app versions.

Vulnerabilities are arising all the time. The key goal is to address them through security patches. What’s the final step? You should educate users about mobile security best practices and phishing attempts. Many hacks occur due to social engineering. They led to 8 billion dollar losses in the US in 2022. Proper user education can prevent many situations of this kind.

A Comprehensive Mobile Application Security Checklist

A comprehensive mobile application security checklist

It’s time to offer our mobile app security checklist. Here are the top steps for protecting your firm. Let’s review them all in-depth:

1. Secure Your Mobile App with a Code Signing Certificate

Many issues with mobile app security occur due to a lack of registration. Certain apps are spread outside of the Google Play Store or Apple Store. As a result, spoofing their sites and fooling the users into downloading the wrong file versions is easy. What should you do in this regard? The core pathway is to get a code signing certificate from a trusted issuer to digitally sign your app. This verifies its authenticity and prevents unauthorized modifications. Such a method works well in many situations. Above all, it’ll allow you to put your app into a relevant app store.

Safety tools of mobile operating systems will be able to detect modified apps. This is the best pathway for protecting users. You’ll receive a guaranteed way to prevent them from downloading malicious apps disguised as yours. Ultimately, the outcomes of such an ability to verify apps are great for your reputation. When users can verify app authenticity upon installation, their trust will grow. In this way, you’ll promote more secure app downloads.

2. Encrypt Mobile Communications

There’s another important step in the outlined case. You should consider encrypting as many elements of your mobile communication as possible. What’s your goal here? We recommend you implement strong encryption algorithms like TLS 1.3. Another step is to install Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) ciphers for all communications. This will protect all communication between your app and its servers. Why is this approach vital? This method ensures data confidentiality and integrity. In the end, you have an opportunity to protect user information and prevent unauthorized access. After all, data remains unreadable even if intercepted. This is a perfect way to safeguard sensitive information like login credentials.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication Provision

Often, passwords leak regardless of strong security. Even if you’ve encrypted everything well, the perpetrators can use social engineering. Occasionally, it’s easy to trick users into giving up vital information themselves. How can we protect them against such issues? In our opinion, the core way is to fortify user logins with multifactor authentication (MFA). This requires users to provide two or more authentication factors. They should first use a password and then a fingerprint or a one-time code to gain access. In our opinion, biometrical authentication is especially strong. We can imagine situations when criminals get mobile one-time codes. However, biometrical authentication prevents such situations from happening in the first place. After all, it enables the users to enter information from only one location.

Consequently, we recommend adding all this technology into a mobile application security checklist. In the end, MFA is extremely vital. It adds an extra layer of security. This method makes it significantly more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access. Even if they get a user’s password, they won’t be able to pay online, for example.

4. Runtime App Self-Protection (RASP)

hands around mobile

Utilize RASP solutions to monitor your app’s runtime behavior. In numerous instances, hackers use rapid-access memory to modify apps. They search for encryption passwords in it, for instance. What’s the key way to thwart their attempts? You should monitor any intrusions into app values in live mode. This method is the best framework for protecting yourself against RAM attacks. What can those tools do? In our opinion, their capabilities are impressive. They can detect and prevent code injection, memory corruption, and reverse engineering. RASP proactively detects and blocks malicious behavior. Ultimately, it’s one of the best pathways for safeguarding your app against vulnerabilities. Try it out if you want to protect user data from manipulation or theft.

5. Secure APIs

We’ve already mentioned that many security problems occur due to low-quality authentication. In many situations, internal solutions may be low-quality. Sometimes, users simply don’t put enough protection through passwords. What’s the best way to deal with those challenges? In our opinion, you should use publicly developed authentication systems. In this respect, we recommend implementing access control mechanisms like OAuth and OpenID Connect. You’ll be able to secure your APIs through it in most cases. This restricts unauthorized access and data manipulation. Only authorized users will be able to access and modify the relevant data. What’s an additional practice we recommend? Use strong validation and logging practices such as complex password generation. In this way, you’ll be able to detect many suspicious activities. Why is this step so vital? It’s crucial because it allows you to identify and address potential attacks before they escalate.

6. Install Tamper-Detection Tools

In many cases, attacks occur without app owners even noticing. What’s the best way to avoid this issue? Protect your app from code modifications and resource manipulation by installing tamper-detection tools. These tools continuously monitor your app for changes and alert you to suspicious activity. For instance, they can showcase some file changes. Illegal entry often ends in minor modifications to user files. Proper anti-tamper protection is perfect for detecting such cases. All this is essential for identifying potential threats and removing them altogether. Early detection of tampering attempts allows you to mitigate risks. It prevents attackers from gaining access to or manipulating your app’s functionality.

7. Utilize Penetration Testing

The best way to prepare for the worst-case scenarios is to actively simulate them. How can you do this? Try hacking your system! In this case, ethical hackers attempt to break into your app and identify weaknesses. This approach allows you to fix them before real attackers can cause harm. This is the essence of proper penetration testing. It’s about proactively identifying and addressing vulnerabilities. Why does this matter? You get to remove the key problems before attackers exploit them. Penetration testing helps you avoid evolving threats and strengthen your app’s security posture.

8. Prevent Data Leaks

Lastly, your goal is to prevent data leaks. How should you do this? We believe the best pathway is to implement data leak prevention (DLP) solutions. They can help prevent both intentional and unintentional data leaks. DLP solutions monitor data usage and identify unauthorized data-sharing activities. Using this approach, you’ll be able to investigate and take action. Why is DLP so vital? DLP helps protect user information like financial data, personal details, and location data from unauthorized access and leaks. In this way, you can uphold user privacy and security.

The Latest Trends in Cyber Threats for 2023

The latest trends in cyber threats for 2023

We believe there are multiple trends to add to a mobile application security testing checklist. Here are some top security issues:

1. Resurgence of Ransomware

Example: The Conti ransomware gang crippled Costa Rican government systems in April 2022. It demanded a $20 million ransom. They later released sensitive government data on the dark web after their demands weren’t met.

Impact: Ransomware attacks disrupt critical infrastructure and cause significant financial losses. Data leaks add another layer of pressure. The victims choose between paying ransoms and facing potentially damaging data breaches.

2. Increasing Focus on Identity-Based Attacks

Example: In July 2023, hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Office 365 to access US government accounts. This attack highlights the growing threat of identity-based attacks. They’re targeting more and more individuals with sensitive information. 

Impact: Identity-based attacks can lead to account takeovers, data breaches, and reputational damage. Deepfakes further complicate matters, making it difficult to distinguish legitimate individuals from imposters.

3. Exploitation of New Technologies

Example: In August 2023, researchers discovered vulnerabilities in popular AI frameworks. They could be exploited to generate malicious code and launch attacks. This incident underscores the need for careful security considerations when implementing new technologies.

Impact: As AI and IoT become integrated into our lives, the attack space for cybercriminals grows. In the future, two scenarios are highly possible. On the one hand, hackers will be using AI en masse to create new mobile viruses. On the other hand, leaked prompts can easily expose much personal user information.

4. Growing Threat to Cloud Environments

Example: Breaches into the hospital accounts are occurring all the time. In this regard, the existing sources highlight that an average leak costs 10 million US dollars. This incident highlights the importance of robust cloud security and data protection measures.

Impact: Cloud misconfigurations and insecure storage practices can create vulnerabilities. Data breaches in cloud environments expose sensitive information. Such leaks ultimately cause significant damage to organizations and individuals.

5. Targeting Remote Workforces

Example: With the rise of remote work, breaches targeting remote workers started to occur. A common entry path was to use COVID-19 protection measures to install malware. Sometimes, hackers were able to install remote access tools. They were sufficient to receive access to vulnerable user data. 

Impact: Remote workforces can be more susceptible to cyberattacks due to unsecured home networks and lack of awareness. Phishing attacks lead to malware infections, data breaches, and, ultimately, financial losses.


Man shield mobile

We hope the mobile app security testing checklist we offer here will help you. As you may see, mobile app security isn’t a simple matter. It includes many elements that you have to consider. What’s the best way to ensure proper mobile security? In our opinion, you should, above all, work with professionals. In this respect, Keenethics has eight years of experience. We know how to deliver advanced and secure software for fintech, edtech, and healthtech.

Common Questions About Healthcare Payments & HIPAA Compliance

Are mobile apps safer than websites?

It’s hard to say definitively if mobile apps are safer than websites. Both have vulnerabilities. Security depends on several factors, including app development and user behavior. However, apps often receive faster security updates and can be better sandboxed than websites. This factor potentially offers major security advantages. Ultimately, staying vigilant about app permissions and practicing safe online habits is crucial. This framework will help you protect your data, regardless of the platform.

What are the security features of an app?

Security features in apps vary. Common ones include secure authentication, data encryption, code signing, and vulnerability patching. These features cooperate to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access. Certain apps also provide features like sandboxing and containerization for further security enhancements.

What are the security risks of mobile apps?

Mobile apps pose various security risks. They include data breaches, malware infection, phishing attempts, and unauthorized access. Insecure coding practices, weak encryption, and inadequate access controls can leave apps vulnerable to attack. Additionally, malicious apps disguised as legitimate ones can steal data or hijack devices. Taking precautions like using trustworthy app stores and exercising caution with app permissions is essential.

Do you want to create a secure mobile app?

Consider developing new apps together with Keenethics!

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