e-testing Blog

Mobile App Security Problems Show the Need for App Testing Services

App testing services have become more essential than ever as hackers have increasingly begun targeting the market for mobile apps. Today, many people use smartphones and tablets to accomplish everyday tasks from keeping track of their finances to shopping to keeping in contact with companies and friends. The dramatic growth of the app market means more people looking to exploit vulnerabilities and find ways to steal information.

Computer World recently highlighted some of the high-profile problems that major companies have been facing with app security.  Testing both the features and security functionality of mobile apps is something that should be done throughout the development process in order to avoid the risk of a breach that could cost your reputation.  An experienced software testing consultancy like e-testing, can provide testing services for app developers in order to reduce the chances of a costly and embarrassing security incident.

Evidence shows that App Security is Lacking

As Computer World explains, many companies- including some of the largest businesses in the world – are “not paying nearly enough attention to security” when designing mobile apps.

Wal-Mart is one such company. By revenue, Wal-Mart is the largest company in the USA.  Wal-Mart is considered to be a very IT-savvy company and has had success when many other stores failed, both because of its low price model and because it targets both the online and brick-and-mortar market.  Part of how Wal-Mart connects to customers is through its mobile application.

Unfortunately, an independent penetration tester took a close look at Wal-Mart’s mobile app and found that the company had not done nearly enough security testing on its app before releasing it to the public.   In fact, Wal-Mart’s mobile application was inadvertently exposing the geo-location details and other personal information of customers.

Wal-Mart is not the only major U.S. Company to put the privacy and safety of consumers at risk with a poorly tested app.  Computer World also cites Facebook, Delta, Starbucks, the dating sites Match.com and eHarmony, and even a pharmacy, Walgreens.

Walgreens had a pill reminder app that it provided to customers, the app encouraged users to photograph their prescriptions. The pictures were stored unencrypted and anyone could access the images.  Customers also had their full name and user ID encoded, but not encrypted so it was still very vulnerable to hackers with a modicum of computer knowledge.

When alerted to these problems with their mobile aps, companies usually act quickly to fix the security holes. Walgreens, for example, indicated that a fix would be coming within days of the problems being identified.

Unfortunately, if a mobile app is released and then security problems are found after the fact, vulnerable information may have already been compromised and end users may lose a little faith in the company.  Security holes may also be harder to fix at such a late stage.

Rather than take the risk, it is best to employ an app testing service early in the process of programming and design. The consultants at e-testing can take care of not only checking for security problems, but also otherwise ensuring a more positive experience for the end user. Contact our professionals today for more information on how e-testing can improve your app.


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