Mobile applications do not run on their own—almost every useful app is backed by one or more web services running in the background to perform most actions and to link them to enterprise systems. Even though you don’t really see this part, your mobile apps would not work without this vital infrastructure. To keep the mobile app secure, it is critical to protect the web services that back them to secure user data and your system.
Effectively, a mobile app is very similar to a web browser front end. When it comes to security concerns, that means that your mobile apps are at risk from most threats targeting web applications – topping the list of confirmed breaches in 2016, according to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigation Report.
Web application attacks include SQL injection and remote command execution, two of the biggest threats to mobile applications. To protect your app, your system, and your users you have to protect the application layer and the application programming interface (API). A key way of protecting the application layer is with runtime application self-protection (RASP).
RASP protects web applications from within, because it is built into or added on to the application runtime environment. From its position inside the application, RASP understands the data flows and working logic of the app when it is working correctly. It continuously monitors and analyzes application execution. That means that RASP also knows when the application is under threat. It protects against threats with specific and defined actions, such as terminating a session or alerting the information security team.
The best way to protect your iPhone and Android applications is to first protect the services that back them. Once you have that strong foundation, you can continue to build apps that will delight your users, and build trust by keeping their data safe at the same time.
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