Mobile Application penetration testing

Overview

The roles of today’s security professionals and software developers have become multidimensional. With their increased responsibilities, they must do more in less time, all while keeping applications secure. Mobile application security testing is an essential part of mobile application development, but what if your team lacks the resources or skills to perform this specialised task effectively across your full mobile application portfolio? Hedgehogs MAPT service enables you to implement client-side code, server-side code, and third-party library analysis quickly so you can systematically find and fix security vulnerabilities in your mobile applications, without the need for source code

The Need for Mobile Application Penetration Testing

There are many ways in which a mobile application can achieve or fail when it comes to ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of a system and its data. Mobile app penetration testing will uncover the good and the bad when it comes to this cybersecurity posture.
Experts who know what attackers know, will use those same techniques against the mobile application. The well-known OWASP Foundation lists ten commonly found areas of weakness in mobile applications. These, and more, are all examined during a mobile application penetration test:

This occurs with the violation of published guidelines, the violation of convention and unintentional misuse. For example, an application that requires permissions surplus to its functional requirements likely increases risk.

Imagine a scenario where sensitive data is inadvertently cloud synced to a location that has open access to the public. This would represent high risk for the confidentiality of that data.

Most applications transmit sensitive data, and failure to ensure robust encryption in transit puts that data at risk of unauthorized access.

Some applications fail to implement any kind of authentication mechanism, or more commonly, implement a flawed authentication mechanism. A mobile banking application without strong authentication could allow an attacker to access and interact with an account they do not own.

This is where some encryption attempt is made, but a flaw in its implementation means that the data is not fully protected. Thus, an attacker may be able to access or manipulate data that is supposed to be unreadable to them.

Assuming authentication to the mobile application has occurred, flaws in authorization could result in one user being able to access another user’s data or functionality.

This occurs when the device side of a mobile application is affected by an applications poor coding, there is some security impact, and the mobile application code that sits on the device needs rewriting.

The degree to which an application must protect the integrity of its own code varies by application purpose. Some applications require high levels of assurance around the integrity of device side code but perform no checks or insufficient checks to prevent code modification, or tampering.

An attacker may attempt to reverse engineer the mobile applications underlying source code in order to identify and exploit vulnerabilities or compromise intellectual property. There are various levels of defense that can be employed to hinder attackers from employing these techniques.

It is not uncommon for applications to include hidden or undocumented functionality that was not designed to make its way into production environment. Such functionality typically reduces the overall security posture of the mobile application.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does give you an idea of the types of vulnerability that can be identified in a mobile application during a penetration test.

Key Benefits

Increasingly, mobile applications are the default way that users interact with mobile devices. Applications bring rich and native functionality to a mobile device in a way that exceeds what is generally possible with a web application. The increased prevalence of mobile applications has resulted in increased levels of personal data and sensitive functionality being handled by them.

Mobile app penetration testing involves expert mobile security specialists following a rigorous methodology to determine the overall security posture of a given application. Put simply, these experts replicate the threat posed by an array of threat actors of all sophistication levels. They will be able to determine the resilience level of your mobile application to these different threat actors. Where gaps in security are identified, you’ll be told in easy to understand terms what the impact is and – more importantly – how to remediate the problem. Where positive security controls are identified, an in-depth mobile application penetration test will tell you about that, too, so that you can keep on doing those things, safe in the knowledge that you’re doing things the right way.

There are many groups that benefit from a mobile application penetration test:

  • Developers gain assurance that their product is safe and secure for their customers.
  • Organisations gain assurance that a given mobile application is safe to introduce to their enterprise environment.
  • Users feel safer with the knowledge that a mobile security test has taken place, which in turn allows them to confidently use the application.

Our testing brings these key benefits to your Mobile Application development strategy:

Flexibility: Our on-demand, easy-to-use portal empowers you to manage your assessments. Schedule tests, set the desired depth of testing, and make modifications as business requirements change and threats evolve.
Coverage: Test mobile applications you might miss owing to resource constraints.
Consistency: Get the same high-quality MAPT results all the time for any mobile application.
Enablement: We walk you through your test results and help you develop a remediation plan best suited to your needs.
Comprehensiveness: Our blended manual and tool-based assessment uses the OWASP methodology and includes a thorough analysis of results, detailed reporting, and actionable remediation guidance.

Put simply, a high-quality mobile application penetration test tells you what a mobile application is doing right and what it’s doing wrong in terms of its cyber security posture.

Choose from 2 depths of Managed MAPT

Managed MAPT helps you identify common to critical software security vulnerabilities in your running mobile application by using an application security testing suite designed specifically for mobile environments. We use a combination of proprietary static and dynamic analysis tools working together rather than in isolation to discover vulnerabilities accurately and efficiently. We offer multiple depths of analysis so you can tune the level of testing based on the risk profile of each tested application.

Standard Managed MAPT

The Hedgehog Standard Managed Application Penetration Testing uses a blend of automated and manual analysis following the OWASP methodology for the security testing of mobile applications. Standard MAPT helps to identify vulnerabilities in application binaries running on mobile devices that cannot be found through automated analysis alone. Examples include authentication and authorization issues, client-side trust issues, misconfigured security controls, cross-platform development framework issues, and more. Includes a manual review to identify false positives and a read-out call to explain findings.

Comprehensive Managed MAPT

The Hedgehog Comprehensive Managed Application Penetration Testing expands on the Standard MAPT offering by applying a blend of automated and extended manual analysis to find vulnerabilities in both application binaries running on the mobile device and corresponding server-side functionality. Example server-side vulnerabilities include session management, cryptographic issues, authentication and authorization issues, and other common web service vulnerabilities. Includes a manual review to identify false positives and a read-out call to explain findings.

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