The Security Risk in the Application Economy
In today’s application economy, software innovations are bringing new features and capabilities to consumers, employees and partners. However, deploying applications incurs significant risk when applications go into the wild within untrusted and unknown environments that business owners cannot control. Many believe that once code leaves the confines of a data center, source code is immune to tampering. In reality, black markets thrive on reselling counterfeit software or cracked licenses. Even flawlessly written code can be subject tampering or reverse-engineering. For example, in mobility, more than 90% of the top 100 Apple iOS and Android apps are available as hacked versions on third-party sites.
How is this happening? The same convenience that allows easy access to data or IP also opens the door for malicious actors to undermine application integrity by accessing source code, reverse engineering, violating licenses or compromising devices. Forward-thinking organizations must react and put in place protection mechanisms to shield their important software assets.
Next-Generation Application Threats: Application Integrity Risks
Applications in the wild give attackers a profitable attack surface. Once software is shipped for consumption, it only takes minutes for sophisticated hackers to reverse-engineer or tamper applications to gain full access to source code, easily undermining application integrity. Attackers rarely discriminate between consumer or enterprise applications. Worse, even the most disciplined secure development life cycle cannot prevent binary-focused attacks.
These next-generation application attacks result in:
- Bypassing security controls such as authentication, encryption, license management or digital rights controls
- Conducting fraud
- Disseminating malware
- Unlocking or modifying application functionality
- Stealing source code or intellectual property
- Software Piracy
Today’s main victims include financial services, gaming, software vendors, healthcare and digital media. The attacks impact business by:
- Inflicting financial liability as compromised applications can enable fraud, IP theft, as well as exposure of credentials, sensitive information or data
- Diminishing brand equity due to embarrassing security incidents
- Decreasing customer retention when compromised applications negatively impact user experience
- Incurring revenue loss because of pirated content, counterfeit software or compromised devices
The application security landscape must now encompass the above new generation of threats. Adopting a secure development lifecycle to augment application security with secure coding and vulnerability scanning is an essential practice. Many effective security technologies have become available, but they focus device security and management as well as mobile data privacy. However, none of these disciplines blocks against sophisticated reverse-engineering and tampering-based attacks.
Application Integrity Protection™ (AIP) provides Proactive Binary Hardening
To combat modern application threats, forward-thinking enterprises and app developers deploy Application Integrity Protection for binary hardening to protect the applications that manifest business assets. Given the diversity of application types on diverse platforms–particularly with the proliferation of mobility–applications require built-in self-defense and tamper-resistant mechanisms.
Application Integrity Protection embeds these security attributes directly into the code of apps just before they are deployed providing them with self-protection from compromise.
AIP strives to secure businesses in the App Economy against next generation application threats where counterfeiters, competitors or private hackers compromise an application’s business purpose by tampering with deployed software to conduct mobile fraud, distribute malware, steal IP or violate software licenses.
With advanced binary code protection solutions, businesses can innovate with confidence without compromising security or revenue model have the freedom to deploy high-value applications in untrusted environments. In addition, since hackers are by definition innovators and early adopters, attackers constantly develop new methods of software abuse.
With a robust AIP platform, business ascertain risk-based proficiency, that let’s them instantly anticipate and react to advancing security and future-proof their software assets. Finally, with security teams expected to do more with no incremental resources, an effective application hardening solution deploys self-defending, protected apps quickly and does not incur development and runtime overhead.