Continuous Security Testing Mobile Apps
May 19, 2022

How Continuous Security Testing Drives Faster Mobile App Pipelines

Continuous Testing

The rapid release cycles of mobile innovation create a heavy burden for DevOps, QA and security teams. Many developers with limited knowledge about mobile app security and privacy risks underestimate the importance of combining functional testing and mobile app security testing to discover bugs and improve overall app quality.

Mobile–first and mobile transforming businesses need to innovate quickly to deliver an engaging user experience that protects user security and privacy. But creating a high–quality mobile app fast is easier said than done. Without thorough mobile appsec testing, undetected bugs can cause insecure network communications, personal data leakage and even allow cybercriminals to take over a mobile app.

So how can developers achieve both high velocity and quality at the same time? By integrating automated mobile appsec testing directly into the dev pipeline. Continuous, automated functional and security testing in parallel accelerates development while ensuring a quality build and release. This approach creates a development environment which minimizes risk and maximizes efficiency.

Manual Testing Slows Releases

In a perfect world, developers and QA teams would thoroughly examine each line of code and run tests to guarantee an application is flawless before launching. In reality, these workers have strict deadlines and simply don’t have time or resources to manually test and investigate individual software issues.

Developers need a parallel strategy of quality–by–design and trust–but–verify, where security and functional requirements are clear from the start with testing built into the development lifecycle. Moving to continuous automated testing in the DevSecOps pipeline enables organizations to test code written every day for security and functionality issues.

Skilled, experienced developers understand the importance of code reviews and testing to ensure quality. Traditionally functional, QA and security testing have been performed at the end of the development cycle using a time-consuming manual approach that slows releases. Devs believe they are finished coding only to have to spend more time fixing bugs and retesting, while others skip testing altogether and release bugs into the wild.

Mobile AppSec Breaches Abound

Launching a mobile application without sufficient security testing can lead to catastrophic outcomes:

  • Under Armour experienced the largest mobile breach ever recorded when 150 million MyFitnessPal users had personal data stolen from hackers.
  • A security flaw within the British Airways mobile app led to 380,000 customer records being compromised, causing a 30% drop in stock value and a regulatory fine of £20 million.
  • A bug within the Walgreens mobile app exposed prescription data and other personal user information.
  • Even popular mobile business apps like Slack and Apple iMessage have experienced breaches and security issues.

Mobile app dev teams must maintain a balance between speed and quality. This can be tricky given the variety of devices and operating systems mobile apps can run on, all of which must be thoroughly tested before the launch date. But manually testing every variant isn’t feasible.

Inside the Shift to Continuous Security Testing

Continuous testing leveraging mobile device farms and automated testing software enables developers to address coding issues throughout the entire pipeline, significantly reducing the chances of major problems occurring late in production. Leading organizations code all day and test automatically overnight. Developers and QA return the next morning to passing test results or tickets ready to work on to fix errors in code from the prior day.

Imagine a development environment where most functional and security test cases run automatically. Instead of tedious manual assessments, developers receive automated tickets with clear details on bugs and coding suggestions to resolve them. Every piece of code can be checked the same day, decreasing the likelihood of bugs being discovered at the end of the pipeline or escaping into production. In addition, learning secure coding techniques helps developers work more efficiently.

A single public mobile app security or privacy breach can instantly damage the reputation of even the most prestigious businesses. Organizations simply cannot afford the financial and brand risks of insecure or malfunctioning mobile apps. Developers must incorporate as much automated functional and security testing into their workflows as possible to enable the tools to do the work for them.

To learn more about the benefits of continuous testing, register for our upcoming webinar: Optimizing for Speed & Quality: Shift-Left Testing for 5-Star Mobile Apps  or reach out for a demo of NowSecure Platform.