IBM offers software to strengthen security of mobile devices

June 06, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Software to help organizations develop mobile applications that are more secure by design has been announced by IBM. Clients can build security into the initial design of their mobile applications so that vulnerabilities will be detected early in the development process.

With more than five billion mobile devices in the world - and only 2 billion computers - the shift to mobile devices as the primary form of connecting to corporate networks is increasing rapidly. Securing those devices is becoming a top priority for security executives and CIOs. As companies embrace the growing "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) trend, the need to secure the applications that run on these devices is becoming more critical.

The rapid consumerization of mobile endpoints, applications and services has created the urgent need to secure corporate applications on employees' devices. With the latest release of the IBM Security AppScan portfolio, IBM now offers a robust application development security solution, allowing clients to integrate mobile application security testing throughout the application lifecycle.

"We are seeing increased demand from companies looking to extend their corporate applications to mobile devices," said Stuart Dross, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Cigital, Inc. "The ability to scan native and hybrid mobile applications for security vulnerabilities is a major step forward in securing sensitive data and mitigating security risks."

Security on the go

Mobile applications represent a new threat target, since they carry a higher risk of attack compared to web application vulnerabilities. Attackers are increasingly focusing on mobile applications because many organizations are not aware of the security risks introduced by the most basic mobile applications. Beyond the traditional threats, for example, a hacker could perform a SQL injection or scripting attack on the applications. Mobile applications also come under attack from malware and phishing, or scanning QR codes with malicious scripts. Additionally, mobile applications have vulnerabilities specific to mobile devices because they often store sensitive data that can be leaked to malicious applications. This data, once stored locally, typically is outside the protection of the corporate security programs. The latest AppScan analysis capabilities will find these vulnerabilities to help developers build more secure mobile applications.

"Providing clients with the ability