Proven Ways to Slash Mobile App Security Costs

Mobile app security testing is expensive, and that’s a fact. For instance, a single quality penetration test costs around $20,000-$30,000. But do you essentially have to pay this high for the service?

Mobile app development companies are cutting costs because of the economic meltdown or investors pulling out. Mobile app development companies are strategically managing app development costs due to the economic downturn or investor withdrawals. And this could make it hard to set aside tens of thousands of dollars just for penetration testing, right? 

Moreover, without the right budget, how would you manage app security? Solution? We’ll give you not one but three alternatives!

These are practical ways to ensure mobile security without spending tens of thousands of dollars on pen testing or other security protocols.

This blog discusses proven ways to slash mobile app security costs while maintaining a supreme level of mobile app security.

3 Practical Ways to Slash Mobile App Security Costs

1) Go For Automation Testing Instead of Hiring a 3rd Party Penetration Tester

Because of the rising usage of mobile applications, the demand for mobile apps is increasing too. No wonder mobile app development companies are releasing applications quickly and introducing updates more frequently.

While the above may sound interesting, faster releases and updates put developers under pressure, increasing the risk of leaving security loopholes. And because of this, regular security testing becomes imperative.

Unfortunately, hiring a pen testing vendor will cost you $20-$30K for one test, as stated above. And as you have to roll out the app fast, you may have to perform 3-4 tests that can cross the $100K mark, making it almost unaffordable for most companies.

However, that’s when automation testing comes into the picture. Instead of renting a team of pen testers to test your app multiple times, you can contact an automated pen testing service provider like Appknox.  

With Appknox, you need to visit the dashboard, book the penetration test, and you’ll get a detailed assessment report within 3-5 business days. Once done, you’ll also get a walkthrough of vulnerabilities discovered and a way to mitigate them. And all this at a fraction of the cost of hiring a pen testing agency. So, this is one way to slash mobile app security costs.

Pro Tip: Using Appknox’s dashboard, you can effectively test your mobile app any number of times to ensure better security. And that too while saving anywhere around 60-80% of the cost.

2) Equip your In-House Team with Testing Tools

Several companies, especially the ones creating apps that deal with sensitive data (related to banks, airlines, and healthcare), rely on in-house mobile app sec testing teams for performing security tests. And it takes anywhere around 10-15 days for a complete mobile app test.

Now, this costs around $4,300 in labor for every security analyst you have in-house, considering the average salary of a security analyst as $103,590 a year. And if you have 3-4 security analysts, it’ll cost you around $13,000-$17,000 for one test, which is again expensive.

On top of being expensive, it’s also inefficient. After all, 10-15 days aren’t enough for a mobile app sec testing team to manually conduct all the security tests, from penetration testing to vulnerability assessments.

However, automation is the solution to this problem. For instance, using Appknox’s dashboard, your security analysts just need to upload the app binary, and the system will automatically perform:

  • Static Scan – it tests your app’s code for configuration issues.
  • Dynamic Scan – It’s a closed box testing type that finds vulnerabilities in a running app.
  • API Scan – It ensures all the endpoints are transferring info, ensuring security.

You can get the results of the above tests on the same day. Also, your analysts can book penetration tests and get results within 3-5 days. All this can help you save time and perform multiple security tests while saving tons of money.

3) Integrate DevSecOps

At most companies, the DevOps methodology is followed. According to this methodology, security comes at the end of the software development lifecycle. It simply means there’s no security testing or penetration testing until the application is completely developed.

When the application is finally tested, it takes a lot of time, and fixing issues becomes even more challenging as there’s a disconnect between the code and the developers. Also, research says that fixing a bug caught in the later stages of SDLC costs more. So, it’s expensive too.

However, a newer approach is widely adopted in mobile app development companies: DevSecOps. DevSecOps is similar to DevOps but with more attention to “security.”

With DevSecOps, ensuring app security becomes a shared responsibility, and testing application becomes more frequent. And as you can catch and fix bugs at the early stages of development, you can eventually save money. After all, fixing bugs at early stages is always affordable.

Bonus Point 👇

4) Automate DevSecOps 

While integrating DevSecOps could help you save money, it’s still a pretty inefficient process as it requires manual intervention. And manual intervention increases the chances of manual errors and slows the entire process leading to inefficiency and higher costs.

Fortunately, you can deal with this by automating the entire DevSecOps approach. You can integrate automated testing software directly in your CI/CD tool chain that automatically tests the build daily, reports the issues, and updates them in ticketing software for developers to resolve.

You can use popular CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, Bamboo, Buddy, or Gitlab and reliable ticketing software such as JIRA. Once you choose the tools, integrate them into your CI/CD pipeline, and automate the system. This will help you eventually improve efficiency and slash mobile app security costs.

Good Read: Exclusive Insights On Incorporating Security into SDLC with DevSecOps

Key Takeaway

Cost Cutting is a common phenomenon at numerous software development companies. And you may be forced to slash mobile app security costs just to stay within the budget. However, that never means you can ignore security.

You can slash mobile app security costs and still follow stringent security measures if you:

  • Go For Automation Testing Instead of Hiring a 3rd Party Penetration Tester
  • Equip your In-House Team with Testing Tools
  • Integrate DevSecOps
  • Automate DevSecOps

So, follow the above techniques, slash mobile app security costs, and deliver more apps without compromising mobile app security.


Published on Aug 22, 2022
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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