Key Criteria for Choosing Mobile App Security Solution Vendor

Mobile phone apps are more popular than ever with a rapidly expanding user base each year. They have literally made everything come to the fingertips of the users and there’s a significant demand for mobile apps for just about everything, generating great competition and pressure among app developers around the world. The obligation towards the fulfilment of demand and continuous app delivery has led to some key aspects such as security getting less attention than they deserve in the SDLC process, leaving applications open and exposed to vulnerabilities.

Identifying and fixing these flaws has become important for both individuals and enterprises. This is where mobile app security solutions come to the rescue with their arsenal of tools and assessment techniques such as Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing to mine the flaws that lie buried within. However, going for just about any mobile app security solution is not a viable option for anyone. 

There are a few key factors that you might want to consider while choosing a mobile app security solution and vendor to ensure you get the best benefits.

Key Criteria to Consider While Choosing the Right Mobile App Security Solution Vendor

Key criteria to consider while choosing the right mobile app security solution vendor


1) Marketplace Integration

Any advanced security solution needs to be able to integrate well with the existing system and resources. Therefore while selecting a mobile security tool and provider, one of the key criteria is to ensure and assess that the solution efficiently and smoothly integrates with your existing resources, cloud environment and marketplace.
Additionally, smooth integration with the existing security solutions is also ideal.

2) No. of false positives and false negatives

False positives are not really a positive outcome and neither are false negatives in a testing process, as they can overwhelm the system and take the attention away from the real threats. This can also affect the judgment of testers who may easily ignore alerts because they may seem less reliable and have a lesser probability of being right.
A Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool should ideally be able to flag threats with precision and minimum false results.

3) Ease of use

One of the things that often easily gets overlooked however is essential to the maximum utility of any solution is the ease of use of the tools. They shouldn't be complicated or confusing to use, but user-friendly and easy to operate.

4) ROI

Assessment tools generally require more funds from enterprise budgets. Enterprises may even have to tweak their budgets to include security testing. That’s when it becomes all the more necessary to adhere to budget allocations. 

Naturally, enterprises would expect the VA tools they are investing in to get them a good ROI. While selecting a VA tool, one should evaluate the tool for providing the maximum ROI in minimum payback time.

5) CXO Dashboard

Dashboards are crucial in enabling CXO decision-making. However, a testing tool can easily bombard the CXO dashboard with an overwhelming amount of alerts and confusing data, leaving the CXO caught up in trying to interpret all the data and losing precious time. 

A security solution should be able to report accurate alerts supported by clear actionable insights on the dashboard for reporting to enable simplifying and strategising so that the CXO takes critical decisions swiftly. It should also preferably have a customisable dashboard that allows adding team members for assessment.

6) Compliance and regulations supported

Data privacy regulations and global compliance are also essential factors that any Vulnerability Assessment tool should be adhering to. It also should be able to test the app for any compliance gaps.

7) Remediation guidance

A mobile app security solution needs to be advanced enough to provide solutions in the present – enable swift fixing of the flaws, as well as make your app future-ready. Your investment in a VA tool would be better justified if it offers a fix for today as well as protection for tomorrow, and this is definitely something to look for in your mobile app security vendor.

How Should Organizations Evaluate New Vendors for Security?

It's also essential to evaluate the mobile security solutions vendor for security before risking your own system to their third-party product and tool. Overlooking the security aspects with respect to the solution provider can be a huge risk, however, it can be avoided by evaluating the vendor properly. Here are a few evaluations you can do:

1) Garter/G2 Review

Genuine customer reviews, client testimonials and expert opinions can help you make a smart security solutions investment decision. Peer to peer review sites like G2 and Gartner that provide reviews based on user ratings are just the place.

They also allow comparing different VA vendors and solution providers which can help you decide the best option for you from among multiple options. Be sure to evaluate them as per your needs to arrive at the most appropriate choice.

Good Read: Key Insights into Gartner Hype Cycle for Application Security 2021

2) Open-Source vs Proprietary Tools

Open-source vs proprietary tools is also one of the significant aspects to evaluate while deciding on a security solution for your enterprise. Proprietary solutions require developing in-house teams, so if your company can dedicate a workforce to the tool, proprietary can be a good fit. Open-source tools are preferred in cases otherwise.

3) Flexible Reporting

Should be dynamic enough to embrace the operations structure and enable the enterprise to better face its unique challenges. Flexibility and agility in reporting are crucial factors that enable solving an enterprise's peculiar problems and serving the unique needs, therefore should be high on the priority list when selecting your vendor.

4) Number of Tests Cases Added or Updated

Test cases can help testers identify errors that may have occurred during the development of the app or any defects that may have been missed in ad hoc tests. The number of test cases added or updated to your software testing is of relevance to the ultimate quality and optimization of your app.

5) Workforce Cost vs Cost of a Solution

Having to spend a good amount of cost on your workforce in the adoption and setting up process doesn't make sense if you’re already spending significantly on a VA tool. The tool should be overall reducing employee effort and workforce cost for the enterprise, therefore the factors should be compared.

Why should you choose Appknox? 

Appknox offers all testing tools – VA tools including SAST, DAST and API testing. Additionally, we offer Penetration testing with a safe platform for your enterprise’s mobile app security. Appknox is the highest-rated mobile security solution offering the best in class DAST and API testing that allows you to seamlessly manage risks across your enterprise so that you focus on building world-class apps for your consumers and worry not a bit about security.

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Published on Jan 20, 2022
Subho Halder
Written by Subho Halder
Subho Halder is the CISO and Co-Founder of Appknox. He started his career researching Mobile Security. Currently, he helps businesses to detect and fix security vulnerabilities. He has also detected critical loopholes in companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and others


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