Third Party Apps
Third party apps are specific products developed to be used either as an open source or as a commercial product. Third party apps are getting increasing popular among the organizations as they help them finish the tasks that they possibly couldn’t have done in-house due to the lack of certain skills or expertise. For example, if your’s is an e-commerce site and you need a payment gateway, you would look for a third party app that specializes in this domain, while you can take care of your business.
Though third party apps are a great way to reduce the inessential overhead, however, they come with a greater risk. Third party apps are the most vulnerable link for hackers who look to exploit the software.
According to Trustwave Global Security Report 2014, “85 % of the exploits we detected last year were of third-party plug-ins, including Oracle Java and Adobe Acrobat, Reader and Flash
In our last post, we highlighted the hidden dangers of using the third party mobile apps which every organization or an individual should take note of. In this post, I am going to list down the security measures that will help you secure your data from malware.
1. Get a security check by Third party security testing tools
Many organizations don’t have in-house security teams to do the security check and developers often don't account for security checks while they build the application. It’s always a safe option to look for reliable security vendors to do a comprehensive testing of these apps.
Protip: While you get a security check by a vendor testing tool, never share the source code with them as it is the most sensitive data in a code.
Appknox is a third party security testing tool that allows businesses to scan mobile applications and look for vulnerabilities in the third party apps. Our in-house ethical hackers do a thorough analysis by running the app in business specific environment and point out the insecure areas & help you fix the issue with relevant complaint solutions.
At Appknox, we want businesses to be proactive towards security and hence we also offer free security analysis so that businesses can take immediate measure and not become a victim to hacks.
2. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
Open Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, hotels and other places are convenient but they are often not secure. If you connect with a public Wi-Fi and exchange information, it may be vulnerable to malicious sniffing.
Protect your information when using open Wi-Fi sources by ensuring that you send information only to sites that are fully encrypted and avoid using mobile apps that require personal or financial information.
Protip: For companies, it’s recommended to be stringent with acceptable network policies, provide VPN technology and make sure that users connect through these secure channels only.
3. Install anti-malware
Anti-malware by Avast, AVG, Kaspersky etc. are good software programs that detect malware-infected devices and determine the nature of the threat and potential risk. Organizations should encourage users to install anti-malware on their devices as they offer an extra layer of protection to prevent potential fraud.
Protip: While anti-malware software programs can act as a good defensive measure, more often than not, these are not sufficient. They have to be supported by strong policies and other security tools as well.
4. Update libraries and request patches
An organization that uses third party application should make sure that they update libraries that the vendor releases. Usually, users ignore such notifications but updating libraries would ensure your device safety.
In case a business finds or experiences a security flaw, it is advisable to report about the same to the third party vendor and request a security patch. A security patch can be a quick fix to the problem you are facing but it will need a better fix eventually.
5. Ensure high level of security while getting an app built by a vendor
If you are getting an app developed by a vendor then be extra cautious about the security and ensure that they are maintaining the standard security norms and compliances.
Protip: It’s a good practice to create a security policy for your organization and ask the vendors to follow the guidelines while developing the app.
Here you go with the 5 foolproof security tips to use third party apps! These security measures against the third party apps will help your device and data be safe from any threat injected through a third party application. What security measures do you take while using third party apps? Let me know in the comments below.