Mobile App Development Concerns Echoed
August 28, 2013
By Jack Walsh

When speaking at conferences or to prospective customers about why there is a need to independently test an enterprise’s custom-made mobile apps, I begin by framing the problem.  I explain that one of the primary issues concerning mobile apps is that they are developed by companies with a limited amount of experience as opposed to by large, well-known companies with a lengthy software development history.

In other words, it’s not the IBMs and SAPs of the world with their rigorous software development processes and procedures that are developing your enterprise’s public-facing and other mobile apps. Instead, less well-known, relative newcomers are developing many mobile apps.

To assuage enterprise customer concerns, some developers may indicate that they employ app development platforms with security baked into them or that they pen test completed apps.  Neither of these things are necessarily bad or unscrupulous. They just aren’t comparable to independent testing by an experienced mobile app testing lab.

In a recently published Appthority mobile app assessment infographic, two things caught my eye that support these statements:

1. An abundance of unique app developers produced the 400 top-rated free and paid iOS and Android apps.  Even so – and regardless of developer, regardless of software development platform, and regardless of any testing the developer may have done or commissioned – many of these apps still exhibit risky security and privacy behaviors.
 
2. A caption nestled in the infographic summed up one of the things that I have been reminding enterprises about their mobile apps.  It states, “Software no longer comes from top, trusted vendors.  In today’s BYOD environment, IT has to worry about software from unlimited, untrusted sources.”
 

Ultimately, enterprises are beginning to recognize that their mobile apps may introduce security and privacy concerns that could impact the company and its business.  Third-party testing laboratories, such as ICSA Labs, can help protect enterprises by taking their mobile apps through rigorous testing.

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