For businesses who are looking to enhance profits and boost their global footprint, mobile app development and app security have become a top priority. With the smartphone industry still flourishing, it's evident that this trend won't be going away anytime soon, especially as market competition is increasing and new interactive technology becomes more prevalent.
Mobile apps are expected to earn over $935 billion in revenue by 2023, according to Statista. Moreover, businesses are expected to spend more than $14 billion on mobile app security by 2028. Figures like these definitely raise questions about trusting your in-house security teams or outsourcing mobile app security to third-party vendors.
This blog is for you if you're wondering whether to engage an in-house mobile app security team or outsource security to a mobile app security business. So, let’s see whether it would be a wise decision for your business to outsource mobile app security.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before you Outsource App Security
Before approaching any outsourcing organization, it's a good idea to take a step back and ask yourself the following questions. It will not only save you time but will also spare you the trouble of comparing multiple pricing bids.
- Do I have a description of the security details that my app requires? Do I have any specific security goals planned?
- Do I have a list of security features and services that developers may use to quote a project accurately?
- Do I want a minimum viable product (MVP) or a full-featured solution?
- What about platforms? Do I want to implement the security features to all platforms at once?
- What is the specific type of mobile app security service I am looking for? Is it vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, quality assurance, SAST, DAST, API Testing, or something else entirely?
- Do I require any further assistance regarding vulnerability mitigation or any other form of remediation?
- What is my end goal: to comply with a security regulation, stand out against the market competition, or increase customer loyalty?
- Do I already have a list of selection and screening criteria for potential project candidates, such as "I require a security expert on API testing"?
- Do you have any rough budget and deadline estimates?
Reasons For Business Or Startups To Outsource Mobile App Security
To begin with, we must understand why organizations place such a high value on outsourcing mobile app security. At its inception, a startup does not have a lot of resources. As a result, if someone wants to assemble a mobile app development team in-house, they'll need to hire marketers, app developers, and security experts, all of which will cost a lot of money. Furthermore, if you have no past expertise in this technical field, you may face difficulties in finding a competent and skilled security team.
When you hire someone to do your mobile app security job for you, you will save both time and money. Outsourcing companies charge only a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. You also won't have to worry about paying taxes per person or purchasing office equipment if you choose to deal with an outsourcing company
It should come as no surprise that there is a great need for mobile application security experts around the world, and in many situations, demand exceeds supply. When we look at the big picture, we can see that the scarcity of security experts and resources isn't just a problem in the United States; it's also a problem in Western Europe and the United Kingdom. The most obvious answer in this situation is to outsource mobile application security to any offshore location.
Benefits of Outsourcing Security
If you own a business and want to create a mobile app with in-built security features, you must be looking for cost-effective ways to do it. After weighing all of your options, you'll discover that the advantages of outsourcing mobile application security outweigh all others. Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages of outsourcing.
1)Accelerate Security Integration, and that too at a Lower Cost
It can be costly and time-consuming to train a competent in-house security team. Investing more heavily in security software and hardware can result in a slew of additional costs. This further slows down the app development process as well.
While you might not be able to afford an in-house advanced security analyst who is only required to investigate a few instances per month/week, a security expert from an application security firm can recover the expense of this experience over numerous corporate clients. You can also obtain time-shared access to specialist security professionals' tactics, tools, and knowledge.
2) Help you Gain Access to Modern Technology in the Security Space
When you outsource your security needs to a mobile application security business, you can take advantage of the best security technologies available without having to invest in those assets yourself. To ensure excellent monitoring services, the agencies are equipped with top-of-the-line gear and technologies. By combining this advantage with the expertise that security service providers give, you can significantly improve your company's security while spending very little money.
Furthermore, IT Application security SaaS companies like Appknox can provide you with not only an application security product suite but also managed security services to help you implement a stable and secure application security program to secure your applications, which are the heart of any business in this day and age.
3) Provide Continuous Monitoring for your Critical Assets
Hackers don't limit themselves to working hours when they launch cyber-attacks. They're taking advantage of the weekends and evenings when they're less exposed and blocked.
If you don't have security monitoring in place during certain times, your precious assets are vulnerable to fraud. Consider what would happen if a DDoS attack could last longer than two days. Your company's availability over the following few days would be minimal. When you hire application security providers, you can have 365/24/7 coverage, which means you'll have constant security monitoring and detection to prevent attacks.
4) Provide 24/7 Cyber Threat Remediation
It's typical to employ automated vulnerability assessment techniques to keep up with the fast pace of web mobile application development. Unfortunately, along with actual vulnerabilities, the scans frequently generate false alarms. You can be overwhelmed by the number of false warnings if you try to handle this with your in-house security team.
Security service providers use intelligent scanners and manually check reported alarms to verify that there are no false positives. Their security experts will provide you with effective cyber threat mitigation. As a result, serious security alarms are dealt with immediately instead of spending time on false positives.
Concerns Related To Outsourcing
Outsourcing does have its advantages, such as lower costs, higher quality (often even better than a local company), and the ability to stick to a deadline. However, if you don't know which company is right for you and with whom you need to work, you could end up putting yourself in trouble in the long term. Here are the key concerns associated with outsourcing.1) Gap in Communication: This occurs only when the application security vendor and your company fail to agree on a reporting timetable. If the dedicated crew is not available when you need them, communication will be a problem. However, if you consider time zones and create a reporting timetable, you may simply address the problem.
2) Lack of Control: Because the overseas developers do not work with you in a single office, you may feel that you do not have as much control as you would like. This problem can also be solved by reading testimonials from prior clients to check if the outsourcing firm is a good fit for you.
How to Effectively Outsource Mobile App Security?
If you don't know what you're getting, outsourcing can be risky. To avoid this issue, create a working plan that includes a visual representation of the end product as well as the outsourced company's deliverables. Here are a few recommendations
1) Understand your Key Security Requirements
Before even starting to consider outsourcing, you must set clear goals as to what your key security requirements are and how can they be accomplished. These security requirements vary considerably depending upon the service your app provides to the end-users.
Depending on the requirements, continuous vulnerability assessments and detailed security procedures can be implemented by your application security suppliers. You may also choose to utilize cybersecurity risk management best practices and apply PCI and HIPAA security regulations to protect your data. Antivirus, password managers, strong web application firewalls, and DNS can also be implemented.
2) Devise an Estimated Budget
With enough assessment, you'll be able to figure out how much money you can invest in security. This budget estimate will assist you in deciding whether to engage a freelance security expert or a well-established security service provider. When you consider the big picture, security service providers are actually quite cost-effective and efficient.
3) Assess the Track Record of the Outsourcing Company
After deciding on the level of security you want to provide and the budget, it is time to start some background research on the top security outsourcing firms that you have identified. This will let you decide whether or not you want to work with them. Time zone variations, project management tools, communication tools, and other related issues that affect outsourced app development can all be discussed.
You should take some other pointers into consideration like whether the security service providers use intelligent scanners or they manually check reported alarms to verify that there are no false positives, whether or not their security experts will provide you with effective cyber threat mitigation, what their past client testimonials look like and so on.
Signs of a Good Mobile App Security Outsourcing Company
Outsourcing has numerous cost-related advantages. It doesn't matter if you're a modest startup, a mid-sized company, or a giant corporation. However, before choosing your vendor, you must determine whether it is the best fit for your company. So don't forget to look at their project portfolio, customer reviews, and tech stack. Here are a few signs that you must consider before outsourcing your mobile app security efforts.
- The organization has been active in the market for a long time and is known for its expertise in security services.
- They have a track record of addressing critical security alerts without spending too much time and effort on false positives.
- The organization is proactive and provides prompt remediation (considering the possible time zone differences).
- Rather than answering "we can do that" every time you ask for a proposal or offer an idea, they ask questions about your requirements in advance.
- They are open to discussing past vulnerabilities in detail and are willing to openly discuss the prevalent threat landscape.
- Their key selling pitch isn't low rates or affordability. They can clearly explain why this feature will cost $1000 rather than $100.
- They discuss modern technology stacks yet are willing to explain why tech option A is superior to option B.
- They can provide you with precise specifics on how they intend to carry out your job (and sound like they do know what they are up to).
When you choose to outsource your security services, the vendors are more likely to provide high-quality work in exchange for recurring business and referrals. They also keep the security procedures up to date and in compliance with key industry standards. The application security business will not only cover the basics but also provide a third-party audit, which is an important aspect in gaining client trust by demonstrating that you care about security and are working with professionals to take proactive measures.
Eventually, you will have peace of mind if you outsource mobile app security to trusted vendors. Their experts will keep an eye on your networks and systems and make recommendations for the technologies and regulations that are required. As a result, you'll be able to concentrate on your critical business tasks and create superior products and services for your company.