Superapps is rising and expected to become prevalent in the future. From mobile banking, e-commerce, food delivery, to booking hotels and public transports, superapps features and functionalities make multiple services accessible from a single source. All you need is your smartphone, internet connection and an installed superapps. Advantageous as it seems, superapps actually appears as a big challenge to superapps developers and security team. What are the cybersecurity challenges in protecting superapps?
1. Data breaches
Definitely, in order to meet its purpose, superapps require a lot of data and connect to various external services and third party providers. Users are providing superapps with numerous sensitive data such as their personally identifiable information (PII), health information, transaction data and many more to utilise any service offered by superapps. A cyber attack such as malware attacks on mobile devices or phishing attacks that aims to breach these data can lead to damaging impacts including reputational damage, financial loss, injuries and identity theft. Significantly, superapps developers and the security teams need to work closely in establishing data protection by enforcing data-at-rest protection, data-in-transit protection, anti-hooking, anti-debugging for data storage in the superapps.
2. Aligning One Security Model with Multiple 3rd party components
An effective security model is one that take times and expertise, planning and embedded in the beginning process of building an application. Superapps, on the other hand, changes with demands and requirement by the stakeholder and those improvement need to be delivered rapidly. This process causes the developers and security team to has lack of time and control when integrating superapps with the 3rd party components as the teams need to manage a complex compatibility matrices, match protections solution with source code while having limited certain control over the underlying technologies applies by the 3rd party components.
3. Fragile defense system
While superapps should be deploy on the user’s device, it is not possible for the developer and the security team to have a control on the utilisation of the application. Running superapps on malware-infected devices, jailbroken devices, or outdated operating systems makes users to become vulnerable to various cyberattacks. Additionally, certain apps may not be tamper-resistant or easily impacted by root hiding and jailbreak bypassing.
4. Endpoint Security versus Performance
Superapps are the integrations of multiple, critical, interdependent, service endpoints. With this characteristic, it is essential to have protection on every critical login endpoint. The network security solution however may hinder the performance of application as oftentimes, an application can only accept single endpoint at one go.
Altogether, superapps is both beneficial and challenging. While it worked as a promising solution to the growing numbers of apps for use as well as giving value to business and consumers, cyber security issues as among its challenges should not be overlooked since the impacts of neglected cybersecurity are disastrous and nearly impossible to quickly or completely recover from its aftermath.
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