While web applications can improve your productivity or provide endless hours of entertainment, they can pose a risk to your cybersecurity. Unfortunately, the software can feature vulnerabilities and cyber threats, which can lead to the infection of a device or a data breach.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to safeguard a device. Here are eight security threats your app faces and how to avoid them.
Unfortunately, there are some mobile applications that could unwittingly lead to data leakage. For example, riskware apps are serious threats, as they will receive your permission to send your personal and/or corporate data directly to a remote server.
Consequently, it could fall into both advertisers and cybercriminals’ hands. It is essential to only download reliable applications and to grant necessary permissions and nothing more.
Applications with Malicious Code
Many people make the mistake of downloading an app from a third-party website, rather than heading to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Sadly, this can cause a person to fall into a hacker’s trap, as they download an unsecured application, which will allow a cybercriminal to gain access to their personal data.
For example, hackers have previously developed copycat applications, which they made available on a third-party app store and the tactic led to 1.3 million Android users downloading a malware strain that was coined “Gooligan.” To prevent a cybersecurity vulnerability, ensure you only download applications from an official app store.
Cryptography provides reassurance that an application is both safe and secure. Unfortunately, app developers who are prone to cutting corners or are restricted to strict deadlines may produce a weak encryption algorithm. For example, they may implement an algorithm with known vulnerabilities or zero encryption. Subsequently, a talented hacker may be able to easily crack an app password to gain access to an account and steal a user’s data.
With many people relying on their mobile devices to send text messages, record videos, shop online and access their bank account, cybercriminals expect people to have a large amount of data on their smartphone, tablet computer or laptop. For this reason, they may embark on a ransomware attack to hold your data to ransom, and you may be required to pay a large sum to retrieve your sensitive files.
For example, a ransomware infection will lock you out of your device and will demand a cash payment before granting access. To ensure you don’t fall victim to ransomware, which reportedly soared by 250% in 2017, only download applications from a trusted app store and regularly update your apps and operating systems to prevent vulnerabilities.
You also should utilize the power of cloud computing technology to back up your data, which can ensure it is safe from various cybersecurity threats. Learn more about the importance of cybersecurity by reading cloud security articles.
Many people don’t think twice about gaining access to a public Wi-Fi connection in a coffee shop, book store or at an airport. Yet connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network can pose a threat to both your apps and device.
You’re at greater risk of a cybersecurity attack each time you access a public Wi-Fi connection, as it could provide a hacker with direct access to any sensitive data you have on your mobile apps or on your smartphone. In fact, this can result in a serious data breach for companies, as hackers are targeting mobile vulnerabilities due to the increase in endpoint mobile devices in the workplace.
It is imperative only to use an unsecured Wi-Fi network if essential. If you regularly need to access the internet when staying at a hotel or in an airport, consider investing in an unlimited data plan to keep your applications and sensitive data secure.
Apps and Operating System Updates
Most app developers and smartphone manufacturers routinely update their software to provide users with:
- New features
- A better system performance
- Greater security
As a result, it is likely they will periodically recommend a user updates an application or an operating system. In fact, many software engineers take the steps to monitor various emerging mobile threats and will adjust their software to defend against cybercrime.
If you choose to ignore an essential update, your device, apps, and data will be vulnerable to a hacking. To effectively protect your device from emerging cybersecurity threats, you must update your software when prompted.
Unfortunately, your device could feature some applications you’re unaware of. For instance, your spouse or an employer may have added a spyware application onto your personal or corporate device, which will allow them to track your location and patterns each day. Thankfully, a malware detection program can both identify and remove these programs from a device, which can prevent others from gaining access to your data.
Insufficient Session Expiration
Identifiers are commonly used to invalidate a session once a user signs out of an app on their mobile device. However, if a server fails to invalidate a session’s identifiers effectively, it’s possible for hackers to utilize these identifiers to gain access to an account and perform various actions, such as:
- Removing data
- Making a purchase
- Changing passwords
It is, therefore, important to check an application features a logout button, which can ensure a session has been effectively invalidated.
Many people don’t give their mobile application security a second thought when using a smartphone or laptop, yet apps can pose a severe threat to your cybersecurity.
If you fail to protect your device, it is possible for a cybercriminal to steal your sensitive data, take ownership of your smartphone, or expose your private photographs, videos or messages online for the whole world to see.
So, you must always download applications from an official app store, backup your important data in the cloud, avoid public networks and invest in the best security solutions for your device.