What is mobile app shielding?

Mobile devices have gone on to become increasingly popular at the workplace premises. So is the case when it comes to targeting mobile apps. Based on the estimates available till this juncture, 46 % of the organizations have gone on to download at least one mobile application threatening data and networks. The question that tends to emerge is what is mobile app shielding and how it is going to protect businesses that rely on mobile apps.

An attack vector that has increasingly become popular is reverse engineering. This turns out to be a serious threat to the business and consumers alike. This works in the following manner.

  • Firstly, the attackers go on to take an existing app and try to understand how it works. Here the relationship between UI actions along with the API requests that the app generates comes to the fore.
  • They are going to reverse engineer the code along with the design. Here you may look at API keys along with other hard-coded secrets. It can go on to detect any vulnerabilities that it can exploit
  • The moment they go on to detect a weakness, they focus on the security of the app to suit the purpose. In a way with the knowledge gained, they may end up creating a script that may end up showcasing genuine traffic. It is also known to connect directly to the app.

Such forms of attack may be dangerous since it is difficult to detect. In some cases, it may bypass the app completely essentially negating any form of protection that you may have. For this reason, you must be aware of such approaches and take steps to protect yourself.

Read also: What role does technology play in education reform in the USA?

The challenges that are posed by app hardening techniques

You can use a variety of app hardening methods, such as reverse engineering, on your mobile application. This can be in the form of encryption or obfuscation that makes it easier for the attackers to expose the logic of an app and access API keys along with other secrets. Though these techniques may turn out to be effective, they encounter the following challenges

The attackers will be able to reverse-engineer almost all code

Most of the code can be reverse-engineered if you are given enough time. Any hardening tools that you employ test the patience of the attack and force them to try another method. In addition, if an attacker goes on to use a dynamic hooking tool to attach to the app process. The secrets are likely to be accessed when it is in motion. That’s why application shielding is important.

Device and channel integrity

Mobile apps tend to be less secure than servers. Even the API data channels also tend to be less secure. It is running on its remote and outwits the control of the organization. This makes it harder to protect the app in transit from the app to the server against man in the middle attacks. This goes on to ensure that the app is running on an uncompromised device.

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