Securing Your Mobile Apps: Learnings from Google's Fight Against Bad Apps

Mobile app security is a critical aspect of any digital infrastructure. With our increasing need and reliance on smartphones as both communication and entertainment devices, mobile apps have become magnets for malicious actors. As such, companies like Google and Apple are implementing stringent measures to protect their app stores. 

In the recent blog post ‘Fighting bad apps and bad actors in 2022’ by Google, they mentioned that securing mobile applications is an integral step in protecting the enterprise against cyberattacks. 

In this blog, we will delve into the topic of mobile app security and explore how developers ensure the security of their apps.

The Rise of Mobile App Vulnerabilities & Google's Fight Against Bad Apps in 2022

According to a report by Positive Technologies, 43% of Android mobile applications and 38% of iOS mobile applications contain at least one high-risk vulnerability. 

The alarming statistics don't end there. The World Economic Forum has reported that up to 95% of cybersecurity breaches occur due to human error. These numbers are alarming and demonstrate the importance of mobile app security. 

Google has recognized the severity of the problem and has been actively fighting against bad apps and bad actors. In 2022 alone, Google removed nearly 1.4 million policy-violating apps from the Play Store. These efforts demonstrate the magnitude of the problem and the need for increased app security.

Here’s a quick summary of what Google did to prevent bad apps and bad actors in 2022:

  • Prevented 1.43 million policy-violating apps from being published on Google Play.
  • Banned 173K bad accounts and prevented over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions.
  • Raised the bar for new developers to join the Play ecosystem with identity verification methods.
  • Partnered with SDK providers to enhance the privacy posture for over one million apps on Google Play.
  • Helped developers fix ~500K security weaknesses affecting ~300K apps through the App Security Improvements program.
  • Launched the Google Play SDK Index to help developers evaluate an SDK’s reliability and safety.
  • Rolled out new license requirements for personal loan apps in key geographies to combat fraud.
  • Worked to fight fraudulent and malicious ads on Google Play.
  • Launched the Data Safety section in Google Play to give users more clarity on how their app data is being collected, shared, and protected.
  • Recognized and displayed a badge for any app that has completed an independent security review through App Defense Alliance’s Mobile App Security Assessment.
  • Expanded the App Defense Alliance to reduce the risk of app-based malware and better protect Android users.
  • Added more powerful security and privacy features for Pixel users running Android 13.

What Can You Do? Secure Mobile Apps For Better Business

Cybersecurity incidents can be costly: On average, a single data breach cost a business $4.35 million in 2022, according to a report by IBM. With the rise of mobile app usage, the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches is only increasing each day.

Given that mobile applications have become an essential business tool for most companies, it is imperative for these organizations to carefully evaluate their security posture in today's business landscape.

Here’s a quick way to get started with it:

1) Conduct Regular Security Audits: Regular security audits are essential for identifying potential vulnerabilities in your mobile apps. By conducting these audits on a regular basis, you can proactively identify and address any security issues before they become major problems.

2) Use Encryption: Encryption is a critical component of mobile app security. By encrypting sensitive data in your mobile apps, you can prevent unauthorized access to that data in the event of a breach.

3) Implement Strong Authentication: Strong authentication is an effective way to prevent unauthorized access to your mobile apps. This can include using multi-factor or biometric authentication methods like fingerprint or facial recognition.

4) Stay Up-To-Date With Security Patches: Mobile app developers are constantly releasing security patches to address newly discovered vulnerabilities. It's important to stay up-to-date with these patches to ensure that your mobile apps are protected against the latest threats.

Prioritizing Mobile App Security — Appknox for App Developers and Managers

The consequences of a mobile app security breach can be devastating for both users and developers. Not only can it result in the loss of personal and financial data, but it can also damage the reputation of the app and the developer. This is why it's essential for developers to implement adequate security measures to protect their users and themselves.

One way to achieve this is by using a mobile application security testing platform like Appknox. Appknox helps organizations with its effective approach of addressing the distinct security requirements of various profiles, like that of mobile app developers and managers. 

Appknox for Developers

Appknox is a comprehensive platform that assists app developers in ensuring their apps adhere to industry standards and security compliance. It offers MAST solutions (Manual Application Security Testing), including Static Application Security Testing (SAST), Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST), API Security Testing (APIT), and Penetration Testing (PT), to help developers analyze their apps for potential vulnerabilities and address them proactively.

With Appknox, developers can confidently ensure the security of their apps and take the necessary measures to protect their users from cyber attacks.

Appknox for Managers

By leveraging the Store Monitoring feature of Appknox, managers or team leaders can ensure that all apps launched on the app store have been checked for security threats by Appknox. This allows them to guarantee that all apps remain safeguarded from any potential security vulnerabilities that may have been identified by Appknox.

With the store monitoring feature, our customers can receive alerts if any security issues are detected within their app. This provides an extra layer of security and peace of mind for app developers who want to ensure that their app is secure throughout its entire lifecycle.


Why Choose Appknox for Mobile Application Security?

Appknox stands out among its competitors for the high level of reliability in report results, with near zero false positives. Appknox is a very mature solution designed to sustain the increasing load and offers yet more reliability for clients with low downtime. Any downtime is strategically planned and communicated well in advance to customers.

Still trying to figure out if Appknox is the right solution for you? By offering a free trial for one app, Appknox enables users to experience its platform firsthand and evaluate how it can enhance the security of its apps. With user-friendly tools and detailed reports, Appknox simplifies the process of detecting and addressing potential security vulnerabilities within the app.


The alarming statistics of mobile app vulnerabilities, coupled with the high cost of data breaches, demonstrate the need for increased app security. Google is actively fighting against bad apps and bad actors to ensure the app available on their app store are safe. Developers must prioritize mobile app security and implement effective security measures to protect their users and themselves.

One way to achieve this is by using a mobile app security testing platform like Appknox, which offers MAST solutions and helps developers analyze their apps for potential vulnerabilities and address them proactively. 


Published on May 10, 2023
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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