How can OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS Redefine Your Mobile App Security?

The OWASP Mobile Application Security Testing Guide (MASTG) and the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) are two vital resources that have been instrumental in reshaping the landscape of mobile app security. Developed by cybersecurity experts, the MASTG is an elaborate manual that describes the technicalities for meeting the security requirements listed in the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS).

Trusted by mobile platform providers like Android, certification institutions like Crest, and standardization institutes like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, United States, using MASTG and MASVS is how the big players build secure mobile apps. OWASP MASTG and MASVS are vital in safeguarding digital assets against potential threats and fortifying businesses against cyber attacks.

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The formula for mobile security excellence: OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS

OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS help mitigate risks associated with investing billions across app stores - something that is often overlooked. 

But how can these two security frameworks help you in standardizing your apps?
The answer lies in the symbiotic relationship between MASTG and MASVS within OWASP. 

MASTG is the overarching framework that provides a comprehensive mobile application security testing guide. Within this framework, MASVS, or the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard, spells out baseline security requirements and best practices, creating a common language for developers, testers, and business executives.

What is OWASP MASVS? OWASP Mobile Application Security

Together, MASVS and MASTG can be used to build and verify secure mobile apps. 

So, whether you build apps in-house or work with third-party developers, MASTG and MASVS help you minimize app vulnerability risks and promise a streamlined mobile app functioning with the proper guidance and standards. 

OWASP MASTG - OWASP Mobile Application Security Testing Guide

OWASP MASTG is a hands-on testing guide for mobile app penetration and security testers. It maps mobile app vulnerabilities to the corresponding OWASP MASVS requirements, providing practical techniques to test whether an app meets a given MASVS requirement. 

What is OWASP MASVS? OWASP Mobile Application Security

OWASP MASTG also bridges the gap between theory OWASP (MASVS) and practice (real-world testing) and is specifically created to tackle the top 10 mobile app security risks identified by OWASP. 

Besides, OWASP MASTG offers in-depth information on processes, techniques, and tools crucial for analyzing mobile app security.

What is OWASP MASTG? OWASP Mobile Application Security

In a broader sense, OWASP MASTG helps in the following ways:

  • A systematic testing approach 
    OWASP MASTG presents a structured approach for performing mobile app security testing. This guarantees a comprehensive assessment of the application's security features and possible vulnerabilities. The testing methodology outlined by OWASP MASTG can be easily integrated into the software development lifecycle, enabling early detection and resolution of security issues.

  • Vulnerability identification process
    The guide provides a methodical process to empower security professionals and developers in identifying vulnerabilities in mobile applications. This process encompasses a range of security aspects, including data storage and transmission, as well as authentication and authorization mechanisms. The OWASP MASTG facilitates the assessment of risks associated with identified vulnerabilities, enabling organizations to prioritize and address high-risk issues promptly.

  • Comprehensive test case coverage
    The OWASP MASTG provides a wide range of test cases that are carefully aligned with the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS). This alignment ensures the testing process covers all the critical security requirements outlined by industry-recognized standards. In addition, the guide allows for customization based on specific application requirements, resulting in a tailored and practical testing approach.

  • Establish a groundwork for security tests
    The OWASP MASTG serves as a benchmark for organizations to provide a solid foundation for conducting consistent and repeatable security tests. This consistency is crucial for measuring improvements over time and maintaining a proactive security posture. 
    By following the guide, security teams and developers can enhance their understanding of mobile app security best practices, contributing to skill development and knowledge transfer within the organization.

How can OWASP MASTG help security leaders, developers, and testers?

OWASP MASVS - Mobile Application Security Verification Standard

The OWASP MASVS lays out the industry standards for mobile app security and provides a common language for developers, testers, and business executives to evaluate their app architecture. The OWASP MASVS covers mobile app risks and security controls that can mitigate them across the entire lifecycle.

Apps developed with MASVS compliance have 60% fewer cyber threats - OWASP Mobile Application Security

It’s like the Bible for app developers who want to improve the security posture of their iOS and Android applications - a standard that is a collective effort of the knowledge of security experts worldwide.

By following the OWASP MASVS guidelines, you can reduce the risks of data breaches, financial fraud, and reputational damage caused by insecure apps and get a whiff of the best practices for implementing controls and countermeasures focused on common mobile risks like

  • Insecure data storage,
  • Broken cryptography,
  • Insecure communication,
  • Lack of binary protection,
  • Poor authorization and authentication.

How can OWASP MASVS help security leaders, developers, and testers?

OWASP MASTG and MASVS - A blueprint for secure mobile app development for CISOs

Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) play a critical role in developing an organization's cybersecurity strategy. Prioritizing adherence to OWASP standards helps them develop and enforce policies to secure critical data, allocate resources efficiently, and reduce the need for costly post-production remediation efforts.

Besides, the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) and OWASP Mobile Application Security Testing Guide (MASTG) strengthen the organization's resilience against cyber attacks, build trust among stakeholders, and position it as a leader in secure mobile app development.

  • Reduction of security risks and adherence to compliance requirements
    Organizations are confronted with increasing security risks and regulatory pressures. However, businesses can systematically address mobile application vulnerabilities by implementing the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) and Mobile Application Security Testing Guide (MASTG). 
    This approach ensures a fortified defense against potential breaches and compliance with stringent standards and resonates well with CISOs striving to create a secure and compliant environment to mitigate legal and financial consequences.

  • Building and preserving brand reputation and customer trust
    Security breaches can affect trust and, hence, the long-term association with customers. Adhering to OWASP standards shows a dedication to securing and protecting customer data. 
    CISOs are aware of the significance of maintaining a positive brand image. By placing mobile application security as a top priority, organizations can instill confidence in their users, leading to greater customer loyalty and significant business growth.

  • Efficient resource allocation and cost-effectiveness
    Implementing best security practices during the initial stages of development, as suggested by OWASP MASVS, can considerably decrease the expenses involved in fixing vulnerabilities later. 
    CISOs are worried about optimizing resource allocation, and by avoiding security patches and emergency responses after production, organizations can achieve substantial cost savings in the long run.

  • Protection of intellectual property and business assets
    Mobile applications frequently contain crucial intellectual property and sensitive business data. Complying with the security standards set by OWASP (Mobile Application Security Verification Standard), MASVS and MASTG ensures that these valuable assets are adequately protected against various security threats. 
    CISOs are responsible for safeguarding digital assets, and implementing robust security measures for mobile applications can directly contribute to achieving this goal.

Expert Opinion

Raghunandan J, Appknox's Senior Product Manager, says that MASTG ensures robust security testing and MASVS sets mobile app development standards

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Raghunandan J, Appknox's Senior Product Manager, believes that:

Adopting the OWASP Mobile Application Security Testing Guide (MASTG) and the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) is indispensable for organizations committed to delivering secure mobile applications. 

MASTG ensures robust security testing, while MASVS sets the standard for secure mobile app development. These tools are essential for organizations committed to delivering secure and resilient mobile applications.


How does Appknox align with OWASP mobile app security standards?

At Appknox, we ensure that your apps meet the highest security practices and comply with regulations such as PCI DSS. The standards cover iOS and Android, mapping controls to well-known frameworks like OWASP Top 10 and SANS Top 25.

Appknox offers an automated mobile app security testing solution to streamline the implementation of MASVS and MASTG. Our scalable, cloud-based platform uses state-of-the-art static and dynamic analysis to test for vulnerabilities in your iOS and Android apps. 

Besides, Appknox also provides a detailed report, helping you identify violations of guidelines seamlessly. After scanning your app, Appknox generates actionable remediation guidance, enabling your team to address identified issues promptly. 

So, Appknox simplifies mobile app security testing, making it fast, straightforward, and continuous, allowing you to integrate security into your development lifecycle seamlessly.

Appknox offers specialized and efficient mobile app security solutions that go beyond the standard approach to deliver targeted protection and compliance.

Key Features of Appknox

  • Aligning with industry standards: MASVS, MASTG, and compliance mastery
    Appknox follows industry standards like MASVS and MASTG to ensure comprehensive and efficient mobile app security. With Appknox, you can adopt an effective approach to securing your precious data and apps while ensuring compliance with recognized industry standards.

  • Empowering teams with actionable remediation guidance
    Appknox is a security solution that helps teams quickly address security issues. Appknox will scan your app and offers precise and actionable insights that empower development teams to efficiently address security issues and minimize potential threats.

  • Streamlined testing: Fast, simple, and continuous integration
    Delays can be costly, which is why Appknox offers a streamlined testing process that is fast and simple and integrates seamlessly with continuous development efforts. Make your mobile app security testing a facilitator rather than a bottleneck in your development lifecycle.

  • Expert guidance: Navigating the complexities of mobile app security
    Mobile app security is a complex matter that requires expert guidance. Get access to a team of security professionals committed to making mobile app security an integral part of your business operations. With Appknox, you can be assured that you have experts who understand the evolving landscape of mobile app security and can help you navigate its complexities.

  • Downloadable compliance reports: Get transparent insights into your security posture
    Appknox identifies vulnerabilities and provides tangible metrics for compliance. Download thorough reports that offer transparency into MASVS and MASTG compliance and track, measure, and enhance the overall security posture of your mobile applications.


Summing up

OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS are indispensable resources for mobile security excellence. The guidelines provided by MASTG and MASVS offer a practical framework that empowers developers, testers, app owners, and cybersecurity leaders in implementing robust controls and testing procedures. 

Besides, OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS guidelines provide a clear roadmap to tackle vulnerabilities and help you secure your mobile apps and business effectively. 

✅ Developers and testers can use these guidelines to understand the vulnerabilities better and create an efficient testing procedure. 
✅ App owners can instill user confidence by ensuring their apps meet industry security standards, and 
✅ Cybersecurity leaders can use OWASP MASTG and OWASP MASVS as benchmarks to ensure a holistic and resilient security posture for their entire app portfolio. 

So, fortify your apps and customer data by ensuring stringent controls and testing procedures with OWASP MASTG and MASVS. 


Avoid all security-related risks and revenue losses with Appknox’s automated vulnerability assessment solution and identify potential threats with just a single scan.


Published on Jan 19, 2024
Harshit Agarwal
Written by Harshit Agarwal
Harshit Agarwal is the co-founder and CEO of Appknox, a mobile security suite that helps enterprises automate mobile security. Over the last decade, Harshit has worked with 500+ businesses ranging from top financial institutions to Fortune 100 companies, helping them enhance their security measures.
Beyond the tech world, Harshit loves adventure. When he's not busy making sure the digital realm is safe, he's out trekking and exploring new destinations.


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