As one of the product specialists here at Appdome, I meet with mobile app developers and cyber security professionals all over the world. In our discussions on their mobile app security projects, there is one common question they all ask: How do we ensure that our mobile app security program is successful?
Over time, I’ve looked at all the different ways customers have implemented successful programs, and there are 5 steps to a successful mobile app security program they all share.
Step 1: Clear Understanding of the Desired Security Outcome
The first step in a successful mobile security program is to take the time to get all teams (developers, security and operations) on the same page with regards to the desired security outcome.
The organizations we work with, start looking at mobile app security for different reasons. By and large, I see the following main reasons:
- Their mobile app(s) is (are) under attack. This is the most urgent need we see.
- A failed pen test is also a big reason organizations seek us out.
- Regulatory compliance is another reason app makers look for better security.
- In some organizations, the CISO wants to stay ahead of the possible threats and mandates new security requirements.
In all the above situations, we work with our customers to better understand the current security in their mobile apps and make a recommendation that meets their desired security outcome.
In the case of a new internal mandate, many CISOs will model their requirements based on industry standards such as the Mobile AppSec Verification Standard (MASVS); the TRM Guidelines for Mobile App Security or the OWASP Mobile Top 10 Risks.
For a mobile app security project to be successful, it is imperative that all teams (development, security and operations) understand the impact the recommended solution has on their workflows and agree that the recommended solution will deliver the desired security outcome.
Step 2: Choose a No-Code Mobile App Security Solution
Mobile App Security is hard. Finding skilled security engineers is even harder. One of the biggest challenges with mobile app security are the many different options. First, Android is very different than iOS. Mobile developers are typically Android developers or iOS developers. Rarely are they both. Second, there are so many different development frameworks that all implement security differently. And third, the skills required to implement encryption are different from obfuscation, are different from app hardening, are different from malware prevention, etc….
Consequently, achieving the desired security outcome by manually coding security (this includes using an SDK) will take significant time and resources. And it is something that needs to be repeated for every build and for every release. Manually coding security is a gargantuan task and this is the reason why so many organizations are looking at a no-code mobile app security and fraud prevention solution like Appdome.
Step 3: Integrate with Your Existing Workflows
Most DevOps teams have already heavily invested in automation. They have also embraced agile development and have put in place specific and detailed workflows. A successful mobile app security program has to seamlessly integrate with the automation tools and into these workflows. It has to be DevSecOps. Specifically, a successful mobile app security program has to include:
- CI/CD Integration – Mobile DevOps teams use Appdome-DEV™ to better integrate Appdome in their Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) processes and achieve an accelerated mobile app lifecycle. Appdome integrates with CI/CD tools including Jenkins, GitLabCI, TeamCity, TravisCI, Bamboo, CircleCI, Codeship, Codefresh, Azure DevOps, and others.
- Mobile Release Teams – Allow the relevant development, security and operation people to collaboration across the organization and speed mobile app security releases. Appdome Teams and Workspaces allow owners of a speciﬁc organizational responsibilities to come together to complete mobile security projects.
- Security and Integration Templates – Mobile developers and DevOps teams have to be able to create re-usable mobile security templates, and create security models and specify the security features needed in each Android and iOS app.
Step 4: Instant Verification and Validation of the Desired Security Outcome
The last major roadblock to a successful mobile app security program is the tension that exists during the release meeting. The demands on DevOps to get new releases out of the door quickly are high. And without an instant verification and validation that the required security is indeed in the app, security concerns can hold up a release. In fact, in a survey of Appdome customers, we found that about 1/3rd of all releases are held back because of security issues with the app.
Appdome, with Certified Secure™, is the only security vendor that offers an instant verification and validation of security model implemented by the organization. Certified Secure also eliminates the need for code scans and removes any reliance on 3rd party to validate security. In addition, organizations get a:
- Workflow audit – proof and a detailed record of all the work done by the different members of the DevOps and Security teams on Appdome.
- Guaranteed Outcome – Appdome guarantees that the security the organization added to the app, is indeed in the app, and that the app is secure with the added protections.
Step 5: Budget Certainty (Fixed Cost)
Finally, a successful mobile app security program offers budget certainty and predictability. Appdome’s patented technology and security automation platform delivers fast, consistent and repeatable mobile app security at a fixed price. This zero-dev and fixed cost model provides a 10x advantage to security and development budgets by eliminating the variable dev and headcount costs, and the uncertain outcomes, that are associated with manual coding of mobile app security.
Ready to Make Your Mobile App Security Program Successful?
Our mission is to protect the mobile economy and the people who use mobile apps in their lives and at work. Appdome’s industry defining no code mobile security and fraud prevention platform powers the global mobile transformation and DevSecOps adoption in mobile development pipelines.