Protect your customer data and your reputation with our state-of-the-art security
Secure valuable gaming revenue streams & maintain user trust with our Unity integration
Secure your e-commerce revenue & safeguard data by layering mobile app protection
The number of available iOS apps has grown consistently over the years, reaching more than 2 million apps in 2023. The App Store generated over $86B in revenue in 2022. Unfortunately, such large numbers naturally attract attackers seeking to find and exploit mobile app vulnerabilities.
There is a perception amongst iOS developers that iOS apps are more secure than their Android counterparts. However, reality does not bear this out. A recent study by Symantec found that more than 1,800 publicly available iOS and Android apps leaked AWS credentials. 98% of the apps leaking credentials were iOS apps. When it comes to mobile app security, many developers mistakenly equate platform security (the mobile device and OS) with the security of the app itself. The truth is that an unprotected mobile app is still vulnerable - even if it is running on the most secure platform. These unprotected mobile apps can lead to data breaches, unauthorized access, financial losses and even customer churn. To ensure your iOS app remains resilient against potential attacks, it is vital to conduct robust security testing prior to deployment.
This blog highlights the importance of incorporating Mobile Application Security Testing (MAST) into the development process as early as possible. It also discusses the benefits of adopting security frameworks to effectively navigate the findings. Finally, it discusses AppSweep, Guardsquare's free MAST product, and its new capability for scanning iOS applications.
MAST is the process of identifying security vulnerabilities in mobile apps. Traditionally, app publishers have relied on penetration testing to check their mobile app security. Penetration testing is typically done at the end of the development process, by a third party, and can be expensive. Hence it is done very infrequently (on a yearly basis or when a major release is introduced into the market) and usually only to meet regulatory requirements. This practice is insufficient to meet the security requirements of mobile apps that have increasing complexity, may have weekly or monthly updates, and a schedule not tolerant of security risks uncovered late in the process. Pentesting usually requires a significant amount of time to complete. Failing a pentest, having to implement remediation measures and then repeat the pentest can significantly impact project schedules and costs.
A more efficient approach is to integrate MAST early in the development process, a practice known as shifting security left. With MAST, security testing is done continuously as the app is being developed. This approach has a number of benefits, including:
Leveraging security standards like Open Worldwide Application Security Project (OWASP) provides two key benefits for development teams. The standards provide teams with a framework to develop and implement their security strategy and leverage the expertise of a large number of security professionals who are totally focused on mobile app security.
OWASP has developed a number of mobile app security testing tools and resources. These include the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) which provides guidelines on what security controls developers should adopt, and the Mobile Application Security Testing Guide (MASTG), which provides recommendations on developing a testing strategy for them.
AppSweep is a free MAST product that helps developers find and fix security vulnerabilities in their apps. Launched more than 2 years ago, AppSweep uses a combination of analysis techniques to find vulnerabilities in an app’s code and dependencies. It has an intuitive interface, provides actionable recommendations to fix issues quickly, creates reports to let developers inform security teams about vulnerabilities, and integrates seamlessly into DevOps pipelines. Findings in AppSweep are grouped according to well-known criteria, such as security severity and OWASP MASVS categories, to make it easier for mobile developers to navigate through the issues and prioritize fixing.
The most recent release of AppSweep introduces support for iOS applications. This includes testing for common vulnerabilities with iOS apps, such as:
Testing your iOS mobile app with AppSweep is free and easy.