Security posture refers to how cybersecurity practices are implemented throughout the organization and how prepared is the organization to handle cyber-attacks. An enterprise’s security posture includes network and information security, internet and data security, penetration testing, vulnerability management, vendor risk management, security controls and security awareness training to defend against social engineering attacks.

How To Assess A Security Posture Of Any Organization

Get An Accurate Inventory Of IT Assets

Your organization’s IT assets are devices, services, cloud applications, or cloud instances that have access to the network or data. You need to accurately count all the assets as tracking and auditing the asset inventory is a prime requirement for security standards. Categorize all the assets by their type, subtype, location, role, and internet-facing or not. Ensure that all the assets have updated software and are properly licensed while adhering to security policy. Create triggered actions for assets if they deviate from security policy. Decide which assets must be decommissioned if not being used or are no longer updated.

Determine The Attack Surface

The attack surface of an organization is the points on the network where a cybercriminal can potentially gain access to the system. In a typical breach, a cybercriminal target an internet-facing asset to do some damage or steal data. As the organization grows, its attack surface becomes gigantic, which means it contains billions of points that need to be monitored all time as attackers would never miss a single opportunity to break into the system.

Understand The Risk

The last step to assess the security posture of an organization is to understand the risk. Security posture and cyber risk have an inverse relationship — as one gets stronger, the other becomes weaker. To understand the risk, always analyze the severity of vulnerability associated with any asset, an asset’s business criticality, usage/exposure to the vulnerability, threat level and risk-negating effect of security controls.

When securing the organization, never forget to protect your mobile apps since it has become the prime target of attackers because mobile apps run outside the organization’s network. The need for better features and functionalities along with rapid software updates deployment often comes at the cost of mobile app security. As technology advances, not only building and deploying apps has become easier, but also cracking the mobile app’s security.

How Mobile App Security Affects The Organization’s Security Posture

The dramatic increase in smartphone usage at the workplace has led to rapid growth in mobile threats and requires advanced security measures and standards. The risk of data gathering and mobile surveillance through apps put an organization’s data at risk. The risk includes intellectual property, personally identifiable financial, legal and security information.

If your business has a mobile app and if any user accepts the terms and conditions of your app, it becomes your organization’s responsibility to secure the user’s confidential data. If your business mobile application is not secure enough to defend against vulnerabilities, your business can fall into big trouble since data breaches cost millions of dollars. Moreover, public reporting of a data breach can have a significant impact on your brand’s reputation.

Typically, mobile app breaches begin with a copy of your business app with bugs inside the code that a cybercriminal can reverse engineer and tamper with. Any mobile app that requires access to contacts and calendar gains access to the titles/names of the employees. Many apps share personal and corporate data with ad networks that share data without any IT supervision. So, a hacker then only needs to hack the ad network to gain access to all users. Therefore, robust mobile app security should be your top priority if you want to protect your reputation and customers.

Top Mobile App Security Risks Every Business Owner Should Know

a) Insufficient Input validation

Input validation refers to assessing input data to prevent malformed data that might trigger malfunction or contain harmful code. Suppose your business app is not validating input data properly. In that case, your app is at significant risk of exposure to attackers who are searching for ways to inject malicious data and gain access to sensitive information.

If your app requires structured input data such as dates, email addresses, zip codes, social security numbers, etc., then build a strong validation pattern based on regular expressions. However, if the data comes from a drop-down list or radio buttons, then the data should match exactly with the options available to the user.

b) Poor Code Security

Leverage third-party automated tools to tackle weak encryption, injection and other security issues. However, manual review is still important to detect security risks where automation fails. Therefore, maintain secure coding practices. For example, when using buffers, always validate that the incoming buffer data length exceeds the target buffer length. Use automation to detect buffer overflows and memory leaks and use a mobile app security company to review your code effectively.

c) Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is used to determine how your mobile app works on the back-end, expose encryption algorithms, modify the source code, and so on to make your developed code expose severe security risks. An effective way to defend the mobile app against reverse engineering is to limit the client side’s capabilities. Moreover, never store API keys in shared assets, resource folders or anywhere else that’s accessible by the outsider.

Final Thoughts

Using this information to strengthen the overall security posture of the enterprise will make certain the security won’t be cast away as an afterthought. In addition, making cybersecurity a top priority when implementing new technologies to your mobile app will establish an extra layer of defense against data breaches and threats, whether the associated risk is small or large.

Without thorough security testing, cybercriminals can infect your business app with spyware or malware, and your company’s and customer’s sensitive data can be compromised. Therefore, many businesses leverage Seciron’s services to make their business applications most secure. Seciron efficiently protects the mobile apps from sophisticated mobile fraud schemes while maintaining a balance between security, user experience and visibility of the application.

This article was first published on MEDIUM on 20th October 2021.