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"Dead Apps": The biggest threat to mobile enterprise app security

Mobile enterprise app security What's the biggest threat your company's mobile enterprise app faces? It's one you've probably never heard of — "dead apps." You may think that they're no more a threat to you than are movie zombies. But a report from Appthority begs to differ. Appthority analyzed the security threats and behavior of more than three million apps for its quarterly Enterprise Mobile Threat Report. It found that what it calls dead apps are the biggest threat to mobile enterprise app security.

Mobile Enterprise App Security: The Dead Apps Threat

As part of its report, Appthority looked at hundreds of thousands of apps on enterprise-managed devices. It found thousands of dead apps — apps that have been removed from app stores, but that still live on devices used in enterprises. These dead apps may have been removed from app stores for security or vulnerability reason, flaws, copyright infringements or other reasons. But they're still alive on devices in enterprises. And they're dangerous. The report claims that 5.2 percent of all iOS apps used in enterprise are dead apps, and 3.9 percent of all Android apps in enterprises are dead apps. It warns:
"The fact that the app is no longer available from the respective app stores means they are no longer in a position to be updated for bugs, vulnerabilities, or security fixes. In some cases, the app may have been abandoned or the domains associated with the apps have expired. Dead Apps are also in a position to be exploited by third parties, offering fake updates and content or targeting known vulnerabilities that were never patched."
The report warns that there's a related threat — "stale apps." These are apps that haven't been updated even though an updated version is available in an app store. Appthority warns:
"In some cases, users are still running apps that may be several versions old, which represents similar security concerns to the ones brought up by dead apps. Fortunately, the fix for stale apps is easier to detect, since the app stores notify users of new versions available," the report noted.
The report found that 37.2 percent of iOS apps in the enterprise were stale, and 31.8 percent of Android apps were stale apps. Want to learn more about keeping your organizations mobile apps secure? Check out the robust built-in security capabilities of the Alpha Anywhere rapid mobile app development & deployment platform. See Alpha Anywhere's enterprise-grade security features and also check out this blog post Custom mobile apps for business ROI
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About Author

Dion McCormick
Dion McCormick

Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, is a recognized expert on agile application development. He helps enterprise development teams around the world transition from slow legacy approaches to high-performance mobile, web, and desktop development using the Alpha Anywhere platform.

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.