7 Best Mobile Security Testing Tools for 2017

With time, people’s mobile devices have become an extension of their life. Work and personal issues are no longer a secret for our smartphones. The more benefits we get from mobile app development, the more safety and confidence we need to protect our personal data.

Considering changes and threats from numerous attackers, developers work hard to create and update solutions for both individual users and business owners.

“Mobile attacks and vulnerabilities are increasing in terms of both number and pragmatism. Enterprises are now looking for solutions that can enhance their mobile security posture,”
– from the report “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security”.

Although a number of mobile security testing tools rises every year, mobile attacks and vulnerabilities never fall behind. According to the report “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security” by Gartner, exploits are becoming more and more sophisticated, malware of all kinds is ready to attack the inmost information from the personal and business life of your custom.

The report also states that in 2016, there was a shift in the mobile threat defense (MTD) in the finance, government, healthcare, and energy sectors. As for the future, Gartner predicts that by 2019, 25% of mobile-ready companies will apply MTD capabilities on the devices of their employees.

To keep up with the times, any mobile app development company should pay much attention to mobile application security testing. Missing one point can destroy months of work and damage a developer’s reputation a lot.

How to Use Mobile Application Security Testing Tools

Building a secure app can be quite a hard task considering modern tendencies and a fast-growing number of threats. It makes application testing not a decision, but a necessity. The next step is to get the most out of security tools you have.

1. Observe the app’s environment

To meet the enemy without fear, one should learn everything about him. So the first stage even before using any test tool is to gather all information. When you know exactly which platform a new application will be available on, you can learn more about possible threats. Android and iOS both have their own security issues and attack vectors, so you should concentrate on them.

2. Use a checklist for the most common vulnerabilities

Building an app, it’s important to assess possible risks on every stage of a designing process. The most vulnerable parts of the new product are often individual and depend on its characteristics. But there are some top-ranked issues you should always keep in mind.

Basic items of the mobile application security checklist are:

  • Strong authentication
  • Prevention of data leaks.
  • Tracking activity in the app
  • Input validation
  • Encrypted communications between users and the server
  • The reliable authorization process

Your own checklist may look differently or be similar – in any case, it should always be at hand.

3. Use the attacker’s way of thinking

When developers see a code, they might think about its functionality and simplicity. Try to view the scene from a different angle even if at first it seems hard. Attacking your own mobile applications could be a useful training and a new way to look at your previous experience in mobile development.

Security Guard

Best Mobile Security Testing Tools for 2017

Mobile application testing looks like a never-ending process starting from the design idea and continuing with each new version of the app. Modern security tendencies make developers update their safety armory and choose essential tools with care.

OWASP Zed Attack Proxy Project

ZAP is among the most popular free tools for testing mobile security. Its work is maintained by hundreds of international volunteers – it makes ZAP a unique security testing solution. You can focus on developing your application while this tool will find security vulnerabilities. I can be used also by more experienced pentesters for manual examination.

Price: free
Platform: iOS, Android

MobiSec

The MobiSec Live Environment Mobile Testing Framework is an environment for testing mobile applications, devices, and supporting infrastructure. Using such a live environment gives pentesters the ability to boot the software on any Intel-based system with the help of a DVD or USB flash drive. Also, you can run the environment within a virtual machine.

Price: free
Platform: iOS, Android

Appvigil

This is an online vulnerability scanner, as all information is stored on Appvigil’s cloud. The scanner finds security loopholes and provides you with an in-depth vulnerability report. This solution may be useful for developers (not pentesters) because with all the details you also get recommendations on fixing the situation.

Benefits of Vulnerability Scanners

After uploading an application file, Appvigil performs static and dynamic analysis of your work. The analysis includes OWASP Mobile Top 10 Risks for 2017.

Price: there are three payment options: “Pay-as-you-go”, “Subscription” and “Enterprise”.
Platform: iOS, Android.

QARK

QARK is a tool for static analysis created to recognize potential vulnerabilities in Java-based applications. This software is also can be used by both developers and testers as the information about potential risks is clear and easy to understand. This data includes links to authoritative sources.

Price: free
Platform: Android

iMAS

iMAS is a secure application framework project from the MITRE corporation. It’s focused on reducing app vulnerabilities and data leaks. iMAS (as it might be obvious from the name of the product) is created for iOS applications. The main goal of research investigation is to give developers and end users an opportunity to protect data beyond standard Apple security model.

Price: free
Platform: iOS

Radare

Radare is a framework built by NowSecure and created to analyze and inspect binaries. It is composed of a row of small utilities which can be used together or separately from the command line. Radare supports static and dynamic analysis using the embedded web server. These analysis capabilities are also used to speed up reversing.

Price: free
Platform: iOS, Android

Quixxi

Quixxi’s work is focused on three directions: mobile analytics, app protection and recovery of the revenue loss. As in Appvigil, you don’t need to download any applications from the Internet – all you need is already on the project’s website. For simple vulnerability test, just upload your application.

Vulnerability Report

Such a report will take a few minutes. If you need a comprehensive report, you’ll have to register on the web-site.

Price: depends on the circumstances, there is a free option and two more: $99 per month and a contract price for bigger companies.
Platform: iOS, Android

Security Testing Solutions for More Sophisticated Apps

Security systems of more sophisticated applications require a combination of tools to control efficiency and reduce turnaround time. Such advanced tools should be used in testing areas where automation is impossible. These areas may include API pentesting or manual analysis to identify weaknesses.

A team that creates a sophisticated tool may need a toolset with these components:

  • Automated testing for basic categories. Among basic categories, there might be test for improper certificate validation, untrustworthy storage of sensitive data, and PII (personally identifiable information).
  • Manual checking across the attack area. Tools that security analysts will need in this regard: for data recovery, penetration testing, network and code analysis, reverse-engineering.
  • Flexible reporting. Reporting of this kind will retain consistency and allow experts to add new findings discovered by automated testing.

Security Tools Danger

Securing Applications Means Saving Reputation

Feeling safe is one of the basic human needs. This fact is well-known thanks to psychology, but it’s applicable in numerous spheres of life. As we use mobile phones at every step, security takes the form of prevention data leaks, strong authentication, or safely encrypted communications.

There is no surprise that a greater number of enterprises will invest efforts into strong security systems for their mobile applications. This aspect is equally important for both startups and experienced market players. Creating security checklists, learning more about penetration testing and using security testing programs, developers chase one common goal. They want a user to feel safe storing his sensitive data on a mobile device.

Currently, there are several mobile security testing tools for Android and/or iOS platforms that can be the right solution for your needs. You can choose whether to download an independent application or to trust online checking. Market suggests varied price offers for one platform or several. To make the right decision, you should ponder your goals and desirable perspectives considering tactical tasks and a consumer’s expectations.

Tecsynt mobile development company

Read Next

How Bugs in the API Can Tell You Users’ Credentials
How Bugs in the API Can Tell You Users’ Credentials
Mobile Application Security Checklist
Mobile Application Security Checklist
OWASP Mobile Security: Top 10 Risks for 2017
OWASP Mobile Security: Top 10 Risks for 2017
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