Mobile App Security and Best Practices: Leveraging the OWASP 3-Layer Model
The mobile attack surface is expanding. As of January 2018 there were 3.7 billion unique mobile users worldwide choosing from more than 10 million verified applications across popular online stores. So it’s no surprise that security firms now detect millions of malicious install packages each quarter as hackers look for ways to compromise both existing mobile devices and their newest iteration, IoT.
In an effort to address the changing nature of mobile security the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) — well-known for its “top 10” vulnerability lists — has released version 1.0 of its Mobile AppSec Verification Standard (MASVS), which includes a three-layer model for application defense designed to “offer a baseline for mobile application security (MASVS-L1), while also allowing for the inclusion of defense-in-depth measures (MASVS-L2) and protections against client-side threats (MASVS-R). Here’s how your organization can leverage these layers to improve overall mobile app security.
Welcome to the Support Corner, where we’ll occasionally talk about topics that we’re seeing while working with our customers. If you’d like to see more like this, please click the Support Corner Category.
Recently, we’ve worked with a handful of customers who are using the Spring Boot framework. Spring Boot provides a simple way to create Spring-based applications. This blog explains how to protect jars created with the framework.
Spring Boot jars use an embedded class file structure which DashO does not directly recognize. DashO processes the regular class and package hierarchy. However, it does not embed the class files from the BOOT-INF/classes directory when writing the obfuscated jar.
How important is root detection?
- Rooted devices can be extremely dangerous: When running on a rooted device, an otherwise harmless App can unmount file systems, kill processes, or run any arbitrary command.
- Rooted devices are plentiful: In the annual Android Security 2017 Year in Review, Google reported that its SafetyNet service identifies over 14 million rooted devices DAILY.
- Sensitive applications must include controls to mitigate these risks: Recent PCI Security Council guidelines and NIST controls are just two notable examples where rooted device detection and response obligations are explicitly assigned to development organizations. More generally, rooted access is synonomous with unauthorized privilege escalation and is, therefore, incorporated by reference in virtually every privacy obligation developers face, e.g. GDPR, HIPAA...
2018’s RSA Conference is in the books; IT professionals and C-suite executives are heading back to work, ready to leverage what they’ve learned and put it into practice. This year’s stand-out? The changing role of data privacy and protection regulations. Attendees made it clear that these topics were top-of-mind — hackers are finding new ways to compromise app security, even as emerging legislation puts more pressure on companies to keep data safe.The result? A sea-change for application security. Here’s what it means for your organization.
Development’s Journey to Effectively Implementing App Protection
Because data is created, accessed, and changed through applications, hardening and shielding your applications is a key component to protecting your data. Adding application protection to your secure software development lifecycle will make it more difficult for people and machines to exploit them. But, what are the factors to consider when thinking about application risk? Effective application risk management is a sustained, consistent practice and technology selection and implementation is a specialized discipline within that practice. The initial steps below offer a roadmap to selecting and implementing application hardening and shielding as a part of a broader application risk management program.
The full Infographic in pdf form is available here.
- Does app have intellectual property?
- Does app gate access to value?
- Does app access private information?
- Is the app subject to regulation?
- Does app run in an untrusted environment?
“Software is eating the world.” The now-famous quote by technology expert Marc Andreessen was relevant in 2011 but seems downright prophetic in 2018 — the rise of web-based, mobile and IoT applications have created a market both massive and ever-changing. Companies know that simply staying competitive requires cutting-edge apps that both streamline the user experience and provide a steady flow of actionable data. But malicious actors also recognize the value of applications — and will do anything they can to compromise, infiltrate or damage business app networks.
It gets worse: According to the Center for Internet Security, “malspam” threats — unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments — remain the number one attack vector for cybercriminals. Why? Because despite their simplicity, these attacks succeed. As noted by SC Magazine, meanwhile, 80 percent of IoT applications still aren’t tested for security vulnerabilities.
I just read the Forrester Wave™: Governance, Risk, And Compliance Platforms, Q1 2018.
Forrester reminds us all that “Risk and compliance management is more important than ever, thanks to the increasingly intangible nature of business value and the growing risk of violating customer trust.”
IT security is a hot topic, and no wonder — major healthcare, finance and government breaches have all made headlines in recent months prompting both federal agencies and compliance organizations to draft new security standards. As noted by Tech Target, regulations under Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI-DSS and HIPAA all lay out clear expectations for companies when it comes to protecting network assets, personal data and critical infrastructure.
Software, meanwhile, has historically escaped the reach of these regulations, largely thanks to the rapid uptake of mobile and web-based applications: The sheer number and type of cloud-enabled offerings and now IoT-connected software made it difficult for governing bodies and compliance agencies to define meaningful standards that improved overall security. But, just as cloud computing went through a “wild west” period of rapid expansion followed by increasing scrutiny and regulation, software and application development is now on the receiving end of emerging security regulations.