Question: True or False, Seat belts are to Driver Safety as Obfuscation is to Application Risk Management
The correct answer is FALSE!
The equivalence fails because a seat belt is a device and obfuscation is a control. Why might you (or the application stakeholders) be in danger? First, read through the key descriptors of these two controls.
I recently got a question from a client asking why .NET Native (the process of transforming a .NET assembly into a native app to improve performance) did not also make products like Dotfuscator irrelevant. Here's my response (with personal details removed of course).
First, the .NET Native process is only applicable to Universal Apps distributed through a Microsoft marketplace. If you are developing .NET (using VS2015 or anything else) BUT are targeting anything other than a Universal App architecture - .NET Native does not apply – also, if you’re developing in F# - even if Universal - .NET Native does not apply.
I’m often asked to estimate how many developers are required to obfuscate and harden their applications against reverse engineering and tampering – and when they say “required,” what they usually mean is what is the bare minimum number of developers that need to be licensed to use our software.
Of course it's important to get the number of licensed users just right;
Note: this document is deprecated. Please see Obfuscating Xamarin Applications with Dotfuscator for up to date instructions on obfuscating Xamarin applications.
We are often asked if Dotfuscator supports protecting Xamarin applications. Given that Xamarin applications are based on Mono, a .NET compatible runtime, the answer is yes! However, applying obfuscation transformations to Mono assemblies is only one half of an effective obfuscation solution; the other half is making sure that the configuration and automation of the obfuscation process itself is straightforward and stable. We've been working hard to make Dotfuscator more Mono friendly lately, specifically with an eye towards improving Xamarin compatibility.
Live technical support from PreEmptive’s (world class) product support team plus an application protection white paper
The fine print… Visual Studio 2015 users who register Dotfuscator CE (it's inside Visual Studio 2015 already) will receive immediate access to the recent white paper, Application Protection. Why bother? AND receive a credit to open one (1) support ticket with PreEmptive's product support team any time in (you guessed it) 2015.
For the first time since its launch in 2003, Dotfuscator Community Edition (CE), the no cost obfuscator included with Visual Studio, can send anonymous usage data for analysis (only after opt-in of course). …and after one week and 500 users, the resulting application analytics is already proving its worth.
Every organization must ultimately make their own assessment as to the level of risk they are willing to tolerate – and mobile application risk is no exception to this rule.
Preventing IP theft, data loss, privacy violations, software piracy, and a growing list of other risks uniquely tied to the rise of enterprise mobile computing.