App Security and Versioning

App Security and Versioning

Daily, the average person uses between 10 apps and 30 apps per month. It's not uncommon for over 80 apps to be downloaded to a phone. While you may not use these apps or even forget that you downloaded some of them, they do pose a security risk.

If an app has a security hole that goes undetected, it’s plausible that someone will decide to take advantage and begin exploiting it.

Our experts in cybersecurity in Miami know that versioning is one way to help harden an app’s security and is key in helping developers resolve security issues rapidly.

What is Versioning? 

Versioning is a term used in software development as a whole. Developers have many iterations of code and need to push releases and patches faster than ever before. Consumers demand rapid code changes for the apps that they use every day:

  • Social media
  • Finance
  • Browsers
  • Games
  • Etc.

In simple terms, versioning allows developers to track changes to their code through versions. For example, the browser you use may have an internal versioning number of 14.2.3 and you’re told that you’re using version 10.0.

Public release versions of codes do not need to be updated as often because there are numerous iterations of code changes internally each day. An internal team of developers may push 10 versions per day in code changes, but these changes may not be a priority and aren’t released until a bigger version is available.

Security patches are more of a priority and may be released faster in an attempt to close any security holes that are found.

It's important to note that versioning and version control are not the same thing.

Versioning is a way to help manage and create new releases of software. Developers often like to have repositories of their software so that they can revert code or monitor the changes that are made. 

Versioning Best Practices

Versioning may show too much information and lead to security issues. For example, let’s assume App version is used by 10,000 organizations and has a known security flaw that has persisted since

If the app shows the version number in an easy manner, it’s plausible that a group of hackers will:

  • Scan all websites using this application
  • Try to identify the app version in use
  • Exploit the security hole on a massive level

Does this mean versioning is bad? No. Perhaps you have a cloud version of an app, and you hide all of the information on versioning because you offer software as a service. In this scenario, you’ll be able to patch security holes and never leak pertinent information to users in the process.

Hiding versions goes beyond just your app, too.

Major security breaches often occur because of the packages or libraries that you use. Perhaps you’re using framework 2.2.1 and it has a major security flaw. Hiding the version will not impact your app and it will provide another layer of obfuscation that a hacker has to go through to exploit security issues.

Automation can also check packages and verify data to limit the risk of a security issue.