Mobile Application Penetration Testing: Safeguarding Mobile Apps

Serena Gray
3 min readOct 12, 2023

Many businesses are embracing the strategic value of mobile applications to improve their business growth. But, with such a humungous demand for mobile apps, there also comes a risk of mobile app security-related vulnerabilities. For this purpose, it becomes important to ensure that the mobile apps go through a well-defined penetration testing method in order to prevent cyber attacks. In this article, you will get to know the significant importance of mobile application penetration testing.

What is mobile application penetration testing?

It is a testing method through which the mobile app’s security measures are comprehensively evaluated. Real-world attack scenarios are simulated by the penetration testing method in order to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by the attackers. Security flaws are proactively detected and the mobile app’s defences are fortified so that sensitive user data can be ably protected.

The tactical need to conduct mobile app penetration testing:

As cyber security-related threats may cause damage to mobile applications, hence, it becomes evident that security testing should be properly conducted on mobile applications. Certain mobile applications collect users’ personal information such as login credentials etc. If there is any sort of security-related breach then the organization’s reputation may be impacted.

Thus, the tactical platform of mobile application penetration testing ensures that the app’s security measures can withstand cyber attacks and are also robust enough. A huge number of businesses use mobile application platforms to carry out their business activities. There may be applications that can be exploited. For this purpose, mobile application penetration tests should be conducted regularly so that security-related issues can be identified and addressed accordingly.

Following are a few key tips that can be used to enhance the efficiency of conducting penetration testing in mobile apps:

1. The importance of robust static analysis: The application’s codebase is comprehensively reviewed so that potential security flaws are identified. Specific automated tools like Kiuwan SAST/SCA can be leveraged so that the process can be made more efficient.

2. Dynamic analysis needs to be adopted: Every potential vulnerability can’t be uncovered by static analysis. When the application is running under specific states or scenarios then there will be certain vulnerabilities that will come under perspective. This is when the platform of dynamic analysis comes into perspective wherein the application is tested during runtime.

3. Reverse engineering: There will be scenarios where the application needs to be understood from an outsider’s perspective, especially when there is a non-availability of source code. The app is decompiled using the reverse engineering platform so that the underlying workings can be properly understood. Insecure implementations, backdoors or hidden functionalities are unearthed using this step so that a deeper understanding of potential vulnerabilities can be offered.

4. Focus on network analysis: The application cannot function by itself, it needs to be communicated with other applications and servers. Hence, these interactions should be tested and understood properly. Network analysis analyzes the communication of the app with its server, which, in turn, helps in identifying vulnerabilities in server-side weaknesses or data transmission. Tools such as Burp Suite or Wireshark can also be used in the testing stage.

5. Iterate and update: Penetration testing is not considered to be a one-time activity. With each update, new vulnerabilities can emerge over time. Hence, the tests need to be updated and iterated frequently, so that the application’s security can be properly maintained. The market for mobile applications is ever-evolving and fast-paced and hence pen testing should be made an essential factor in the development process.

Conclusion: If you are looking forward to implementing mobile app penetration testing for your specific project, then do get connected with a globally renowned software testing services company that will provide you with a comprehensive testing blueprint that is in line with your project specific requirements.

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Serena Gray

I work as a Senior Testing Specialist at TestingXperts. I am a testing professional accustomed to working in a complex, project-based environment.