Everything you need to know about app shielding!

In modern times, mobile applications are susceptible to various threats and the rise in hacking incidents serves as evidence for the necessity of stepping up security. Protecting apps is becoming more challenging as they run on devices and operating systems that are outside the control of developers. It can be a challenge to securely protect apps regardless of the environment in which they’re operating. App shielding can help. Protecting apps from intrusion is an important security tool that makes them resistant to attacks. This way, security breaches are prevented and enterprises are spared the cost and inconvenience of downtime.

To prevent code manipulation attempts and close similar security gaps, app shielding uses a series of techniques that make it difficult for hackers to penetrate and launch attacks. Unlike traditional firewalls, application shielding acts proactively and works to prevent attacks in the first place. At a time when mobile apps are more vulnerable than ever, application shielding offers a proactive security solution. This article discusses the importance and benefits of app shielding and how it can help companies prevent data breaches and risks to confidentiality which could damage their reputation and lose customers’ trust.

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No business wants to miss the opportunity to provide easier access to customers and improve how they connect with them by using apps. It is an unfortunate fact that as more apps are used, there is an increase in hackers attempting to take advantage of the opportunity to steal data. This is especially the case with banking and financial services apps where sensitive info is exchanged. It is a good way to protect intellectual property and prevent piracy since it makes reverse engineering difficult for hackers. It complicates attempts to reverse engineer applications, making them more resistant to unauthorized access.

Why is app shielding important for your devices?

  • Minimization of cyber Attacks: Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and highly targeted, resulting in credential leaks more frequently. App shielding protects business reputation by minimizing these risks. In an ever-changing landscape of security vulnerabilities and attacks, fraudsters target mobile channels. Mobile apps are a main target of fraudsters. App shielding is of utmost importance to manage the risk associated with mobile apps.
  • To keep your client data safe: Organizations in the finance and healthcare industry must never function without app shielding. It is a must-have security measure since losing one customer could result in losing the remaining customers forever. To prevent data and intellectual property loss, app shielding makes the apps resistant to runtime attacks. App shielding enables users to enable certain features that would otherwise expose them to a risk, which presents a lucrative opportunity for revenue growth.

What are the 3 major techniques involved in app shielding?

  1. Code obfuscation: Code obfuscation protects IP and prevents attackers from reversing engineering the app. It alters the code in such a way that the behavior of the app is unchanged during that time. But at the same time, it confuses the attackers. Encrypted codes are removed, revealing meta information in the binary is removed, and useful class and variable names are renamed to make the application binary essentially useless. Besides these methods, iphone app developers frequently manipulate their code to hinder potential attackers from getting a hold of their app without making any structural changes.
  2. Whitebox cryptography: Whitebox cryptography protects and hides encryption keys, preventing hackers from gaining access to sensitive data on the device. The exposed encryption keys provide an opportunity for hackers to launch attacks. With Whitebox cryptography, the algorithm is hidden from the device’s memory so it doesn’t appear clearly and protects critical application data. White-boxing techniques are similar to obfuscation, but may also incorporate additional anti-tamper techniques to derive the desired key. Despite the cryptographic algorithms being available and open to modification, one cannot find the original key.
  3. Anti tampering: The anti-tampering feature hinders hackers from accessing software because it prevents them from figuring out the decryption method. The application does use obfuscation but goes an extra step further by hiding the checksum and hash code to counter illegal modifications. It also adds a layer of security to make it difficult for hackers to decrypt the encryption.

How to choose the right app shielding solution for your apps?

  • Implementation through native mode: The current state of cybercrime activities makes code obfuscation insufficient in protecting the system from penetration. The most determined hackers can penetrate through code obfuscation. To counter this, the app shielding solution must be constructed in native C or C++ modules. For better resistance against reverse engineering, runtime tampering, and superior performance, an app shielding solution must incorporate native libraries written in C or C++.
  • Implementation needs to be automatic: As part of app shielding, it is not recommended to launch an SDK manually. With automated app bundle processing, however, one can modify the app bundle either after the build is completed or during the build itself. A proactive app protection solution is active before the app is loaded, preventing any potential malicious activity from affecting the app. Automated app protection solutions can be plugged in without requiring any codes. Security best practices for DevSecOps initiatives do not include app shielding through programming.
  • May lead to exclusion of users in some cases: A solution provider that claims app shielding will offer protection in every situation is probably not familiar with how it works. App shielding may not work in all cases, which may result in the exclusion of some users. In some cases, devices are heavily modified because of jailbreaking, active injection scripts, and other factors. When shielded apps are installed on such devices, the app will be terminated. Choose a provider that defines exactly the circumstances under which the end-users may be compromised.

With app shielding, you can accelerate pen-testing and reduce time-to-market while ensuring maximum security. It is vital to select the right application shielding solution since it determines how well your application will withstand hack attempts while maintaining zero customer experience compromises. With Appsealing’s patented technologies and solutions, your brand’s image is protected without sacrificing performance or user experience.

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