Security Testing for Mobile E-commerce Apps: Best Practices

Published: | By Mit Thakkar

Security is of utmost importance in mobile e-commerce apps due to the sensitive nature of the information they handle.

To begin with, customer trust plays a crucial role in the prosperity of every e-commerce platform.

Users entrust these apps with their personal and financial information, including credit card details and addresses.

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Ensuring the security of this data is crucial to maintaining customer confidence, fostering loyalty, and preventing reputational damage.

Secondly, mobile e-commerce apps are susceptible to various cyber threats, such as data breaches, identity theft, and fraudulent activities.

Robust security measures, including encryption protocols, secure payment gateways, and two-factor authentication, are imperative to safeguard against these risks.

A breach not only compromises customer data but can also lead to financial losses and legal consequences for the business.

In such situations, it is important to hire a security testing company that caters to the needs of the app development company.

Moreover, the increasing prevalence of mobile transactions makes these apps attractive targets for hackers.

Implementing secure coding practices, regularly updating the app, and conducting thorough security assessments are essential to staying ahead of evolving cyber threats.

Furthermore, it is imperative to adhere to data protection regulations such as GDPR or CCPA.

Failure to comply can result in severe penalties.

Prioritizing security in mobile e-commerce apps not only protects users but also the business itself, ensuring sustained growth and success in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

In this article, you will learn about the importance of security testing for mobile e-commerce apps.


The Rise of Mobile E-commerce: Statistics and Trends

Mobile e-commerce, commonly known as m-commerce, has experienced significant popularity and growth in recent years.

The increasing prevalence of smartphones and the proliferation of mobile apps have contributed to the surge in mobile shopping activities.

According to various studies, a substantial portion of online retail traffic and transactions now originates from mobile devices.

Consumers appreciate the convenience of shopping on the go, accessing a wide range of products and services directly from their smartphones or tablets.

The adoption of mobile payment options, improved mobile user experiences, and the integration of technologies like augmented reality for virtual try-ons further contribute to the popularity of mobile e-commerce.

Social media platforms also play a role, with many offerings that integrate shopping features.

Consequently, companies are placing more emphasis on enhancing their online interfaces for mobile usage, mirroring the unmistakable trend in consumer preferences leaning towards mobile-centric e-commerce interactions.

Today, 60% of customers want to shop on mobile apps and platforms.

Common Security Threats for Mobile E-commerce Apps


Before we implement the best practices in security testing for software development, let us understand the common security threats and issues that arise.

  • Data Breaches

In cyber security data breaches occur when unauthorized individuals or entities gain access to sensitive and confidential information.

This can include personal data, financial records, or intellectual property.

Such breaches can lead to identity theft and financial losses and compromise the privacy of individuals or organizations affected.

Security testing tests for the scope of data breaches and vulnerabilities in multiple layers.

  • Payment Fraud

Many of the security issues that happen in the mobile commerce app framework are linked with payment fraud.

Payment frauds happen when external entities intervene and pose with fraudulent profiles to steal money from users' accounts.

Such fraudulent profiles should be brought down and arrested.

Fraudulent activity leads to loss of money and assets for a lot of people.

  • Malware and Viruses

A virus can negatively impact a software framework by infecting and modifying its code or files.

This malicious code can disrupt the normal functioning of the framework, compromise data integrity, and potentially enable unauthorized access or control.

Viruses are a serious threat to the security and stability of software systems.

Mobile commerce apps also get hacked and affected by malware and viruses.

The anti-virus system and security layers should be strengthened after extensive security testing.

Key Aspects of Security Testing for Mobile E-commerce Apps


Security testing for mobile apps is a process that assesses the resilience of mobile applications against potential security threats and vulnerabilities.

This involves assessing the application's capacity to safeguard sensitive information, thwart unauthorized entry, and withstand typical security threats such as data breaches and unapproved transactions.

Security testing for mobile apps includes assessments of encryption protocols, authentication mechanisms, session management, and protection against common exploits.

By identifying and addressing security weaknesses, this testing ensures that mobile apps adhere to robust security standards, providing a secure environment for users and protecting against cyber threats and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Components of Security Testing

1. Network Security

Network security involves implementing measures to safeguard mobile networks and their components from unauthorized access, cyberattacks, and data breaches.

It encompasses hardware and software solutions, protocols, and policies to protect the confidentiality and availability of data flowing within and across networks.

2. Application Security

Application security for mobile e-commerce apps involves implementing measures to protect the software from vulnerabilities, unauthorized access, and cyber threats.

3. Data Security

Data security for mobile e-commerce apps involves safeguarding sensitive information such as customer personal details, payment data, and transaction records.

It includes encryption, secure storage, access controls, and measures to protect against data breaches.

Maintaining customer trust and adhering to privacy regulations are contingent on the vital task of safeguarding data security.

Best Practices in Security Testing for Mobile E-commerce Apps


1. Incorporate security from the start

The security testing measures should be implemented right from the beginning of the project.

Your team needs to use security measures during the design and development phase of the project.

The security layers and protocols should be updated as the app evolves and becomes advanced.

Advanced features of M-commerce apps need better security protocols and constant updates.

2. Perform regular vulnerability assessments

The periodic security audits for the application should happen frequently to help you identify vulnerabilities.

It is crucial to pinpoint and resolve the vulnerabilities and concerns within app security.

The security testing and improvement process should be done with the help of automated tools and manual testing processes.

A hybrid approach to security testing will help create an algorithm for complete testing and identification of problems.

3. Implement robust authentication and authorization mechanisms

Multi-factor authentication bolsters e-commerce security by necessitating users to furnish several means of identification before gaining entry to their accounts or completing transactions.

This additional layer of authentication, often combining passwords with verification codes or biometrics, reduces the risk of unauthorized access, identity theft, and fraudulent activities in e-commerce transactions.

Role-based access control is also important to be integrated into the application frameworks because role-based controls can help streamline the access and security measures around the mobile commerce application.

By introducing role-based access controls, it is possible to control who can access and buy things from the e-commerce store.

4. Encrypt sensitive data

Encryption secures data in applications by converting it into unreadable cipher text using algorithms and cryptographic keys.

The data's original form can only be restored by authorized parties possessing the appropriate decryption key, safeguarding sensitive information against unauthorized access and bolstering overall data security.

The existing data encryption methods should be updated and improved so that the mobile commerce app can combat the threats that arise occasionally.

For proper data security, the encryption mechanism should be developed and updated from time to time.

5. Utilize secure APIs and third-party services

Secure APIs contribute to app security by implementing authentication, authorization, and encryption protocols.

They ensure that only authorized users or applications can access specific functionalities and data.

Through the process of validation and verification, secure APIs ensure that only authorized users gain access, effectively guarding against potential web vulnerabilities.


Additionally, encryption safeguards data transmitted between applications, enhancing the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Regular monitoring, usage of API keys, and adherence to industry security standards further bolster the overall security posture, making applications less susceptible to attacks and ensuring the integrity of data exchanges.

The m-commerce app will also have some third-party integrations, which the security testing team has to update from time to time. The third-party services need to be integrated securely and stably.

The m-commerce app should be integrated well with the app framework.

6. Test across different devices and networks

The app security should be integrated and streamlined on cross-platform systems and devices so that the network and application framework are all strong and protected from security breaches.

It is important to maintain the consistency of the app security frameworks so that the application is very secure and works seamlessly with the systems and devices. 

Android and IOS platforms are the most popular platforms for the use of apps, and security testing should be considered so that the app works seamlessly and strongly across different platforms.

The testing on both platforms should be done in detail and in an extensive manner.

7. Implement error handling and logging

There could be use cases when the app will run into errors and issues.

During this, error reports and crucial information will be generated.

This crucial information might get leaked and cause security issues.

Instead of focusing on the errors in security frameworks, the testing team should focus on maintaining the integrity of the error-handling reports.

The logs of the mobile app should be well maintained and handled so that the error logs can be used for forensic analysis.

The forensic analysis can be done when all the logs are available and can be analyzed properly.

8. Regularly update and patch the application

The team should also look at all the major issues and see where security patches are necessary.

Security testing professionals should promptly put security patches in place.

The app should be updated according to the latest security standards so that it can be secure and robust under all conditions.

9. Educate and train the development team

Training in security threats and processes is crucial for application development to equip developers with the knowledge to identify, address, and prevent potential security vulnerabilities.

Understanding threats such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting helps create more secure code, mitigate risks, and safeguard applications against cyberattacks and data breaches.

The security testing team should maintain a strong dedication to their assigned tasks and duties. The team members should know about the most recent developments in security testing, including SQL syntax, and how to achieve the goals of security testing.

10. Comply with legal and regulatory standards

The security testing should be done in a way that the testing processes and frameworks are lawful and easy to implement through data protection laws.

Data protection and processes should be done to ensure that security testing is a success.

Compliance with industry standards is crucial as it ensures that organizations adhere to established best practices, regulations, and security protocols.

It enhances trust, minimizes legal risks, and demonstrates a commitment to data protection, ultimately safeguarding against potential breaches and fostering a secure and reliable business environment.

11. Conduct penetration testing

The simulation of cyber-attacks and proper management of test cases can protect the app from potential security breaches.

Ethical hackers can help the app in creating a real-world assessment and complete evaluation of the security provisions around your application.

12. Monitor and respond to security incidents

To enhance security testing, deploy intrusion detection systems, log analyzers, and security information and event management solutions to enable real-time threat monitoring.

Continuously analyze network traffic, system logs, and security events, enabling immediate detection and response to potential security threats as they arise.

Having an incident response plan is essential to effectively handle security threats in applications, as it offers a systematic method for recognizing, addressing, and rebounding from security breaches.

It outlines predefined procedures for detecting and mitigating threats, minimizing the impact of breaches, and restoring normal operations promptly.

Commit to Safety: Optimize Mobile E-commerce App Now!

The software security testing services should be aligned toward checking all the sections and layers of the security testing framework.

The security testing frameworks should be taken seriously and implemented to ensure that mobile e-commerce apps are very secure for the audience to use.

Author Bio:

Mit Thakkar is the Marketing Head at KiwiQA, a leading software testing company dedicated to helping the testing industry thrive through his extensive experience and expertise. With a passion for promoting excellence in software testing, Mit leverages his in-depth knowledge to devise innovative marketing strategies that showcase KiwiQA's capabilities and empower businesses worldwide.

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