Technology

What Is Application Shielding?

Modern mobile applications are prone to various threats and the surge in hacking incidents serves as a testament to the need to level up security.

App Shielding

App shielding is a critical security measure that makes the app resistant to intrusion. In simple words, it blocks attack attempts and saves enterprises from the adverse outcomes of security breaches. App shielding makes it difficult for hackers to penetrate and initiate attacks. It relies on a series of techniques to prevent code manipulation attempts and close similar security gaps.

Application shielding takes a proactive stance and prevents attacks, rather than simply reacting to the attack. And at a time when mobile applications are more prone to attacks than ever before, app shielding can prove to be a critical defense mechanism against data breaches and risks to confidentiality that could lead to a damaged reputation and lost customer confidence. This article discusses app shielding and its importance at length.

Apps are highly convenient to use and no business wants to miss the opportunity to offer easier access and better connect with customers. However, with the growing use of apps, it is a fact that hackers are on the rise to make the most of the opportunity and steal data. This is especially true for banking and financial services applications where there is an exchange of sensitive information.

This statistic is enough to explain how app shielding is no longer a choice but a necessity. App shielding complicates the process of reverse engineering for hackers thereby increasing the resistance of applications to withstand any attempts of unauthorized access. It is a solid remedy to protect intellectual property and counter piracy.

Importance of App Shielding

App shielding is crucial for any organization that doesn’t want to compromise security, risk data integrity and fall prey to attacks time and again, which is basically every business in existence.  Here are a few solid reasons to invest time and efforts in app shielding:

  1. Over 67% of financial institutions have confirmed an increase in cyber-attacks leading to credential leaks. App shielding protects business reputation by minimizing risks of sophisticated, highly targeted attacks.
  2. Mobile channels are the main target of fraudsters. Risks associated with mobile apps are increasing and app shielding is of utmost importance to keep up with the evolving landscape of security vulnerabilities and attacks.
  3. Finance and healthcare organizations must never function without app shielding. It is a must-have security measure since a single breach can result in losing customers permanently to competitors.
  4. App shielding protects data and intellectual property by making the apps resilient against runtime attacks.
  5. App shielding facilitates secure enabling of certain features that may otherwise pose a threat thereby presenting an opportunity for revenue growth.

 

How Does App Shielding Work?

App shielding levels up security through code obfuscation, white box cryptography, and anti-tampering. We will deep dive into understanding how each of these contributes to app protection.

 

Code Obfuscation

Code obfuscation is done to protect IP and prevent attackers from reverse engineering. The code is altered in such a way that the behavior of the app remains unchanged. But at the same time, it confuses the hackers. Codes are encrypted, revealing metadata is removed and the application binary is populated with irrelevant codes along with renaming useful class and variable names. Apart from these methods, developers tend to manipulate code to make it difficult for potential attackers to keep track without making any structural changes to the app.

Whitebox Cryptography

Sensitive data remains stored in the device which can be easily misused. Whitebox cryptography successfully protects and hides encryption keys. Exposed encryption keys are an opportunity for hackers to launch an attack. Whitebox cryptography generates a unique cryptographic architecture and conceals the algorithms to keep them from appearing clearly in the memory of the device and protect critical application data. The process makes it hard for any potential attacker to find the original key despite the cryptographic algorithms being available and open to modification. White-boxing techniques are similar to obfuscation but may also use additional anti-tampering methods to derive the desired result.

Anti-tampering

Anti tampering prevents the hackers from figuring out the decryption method that wins them access to the software. It uses obfuscation but goes one step further by adding an extra layer of security making it difficult for the hacker to decode the encryption. It effectively hides checksum and hash codes to counter illegal modifications to the application.

App Shielding Benefits?

App shielding has a host of benefits owing to its prevention, detection, and response capabilities. Mobile apps must effectively thwart attacks while never compromising on user experience. The top benefits of app shielding are outlined below.

User Experience

The environment in which the app operates may itself emerge as a threat. App shielding, nevertheless, insulates the app against malware lurking in the device and offers uninterrupted service to customers.

Compliance with Regulations

App shielding helps comply with PSD2, FFIEC and GDPR regulations. These are security standards that govern the safety of online payments and data exchange. Customizable app shielding solutions from a reputed security solution provider can meet the compliance requirements of different businesses in different countries.

Supports DevSecOps

DevSecOps means integrating security right from the start rather than treating it as a separate perimeter that works around apps. App shielding seamlessly integrates into the application development pipeline. This ultimately accelerates the speed to market and leads to rapid and frequent development cycles

It is necessary to choose the best app shielding solution to avail all the above mentioned benefits and more. The best way to ensure top-notch security is to seek app shielding solutions from a security solution provider with proven expertise in catering to diverse industries.

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