Approov Runtime Secrets Protection Shields Mobile App Secrets, Prevents Theft of API Keys and Credentials, Blocks Mobile App DDoS Attacks
Approov, creators of advanced mobile app and API shielding solutions, introduced Approov Runtime Secrets Protection, enabling comprehensive protection of the API credentials and secrets that are typically targeted by threat actors for malicious exploitation.
“Best Practices for Secure Access of 3rd Party APIs from Mobile Apps”
Recent breaches have highlighted the risk of stolen keys and secrets being exploited by hackers. It is clear that such secrets are not being effectively protected at rest and in transit, resulting in bad actors acquiring them and exploiting them to access APIs and applications.
The wide use of third-party APIs by mobile apps adds another dimension to the problem. Mobile app developers can suffer both financial losses and brand reputation damage if they are seen to be the cause of 3rd party app breaches or service disruptions caused by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks using stolen secrets.
Recent research from Osterman Research illustrates the extent of the issue:
“Upcoming Osterman findings show that mobile apps depend on average on more than 30 third-party APIs, and that half of the mobile developers we surveyed are still storing API keys in the app code,” Michael Sampson, senior analyst at Osterman Research, said. “These two things together constitute a massive attack surface for bad actors to exploit. And third-party API threats against mobile apps aren’t as well understood by companies as they should be. The new functionality from Approov allows API keys to be managed and updated dynamically and ensures they are never extractable from the app. This is a major step forward in protecting APIs from abuse.”
Developers have frequently been urged not to store hard coded keys in a mobile app or device, but as the research shows this “best-practice” is not widespread, since up to now, there has been no easy way to conveniently store such secrets safely outside the app code.
Introducing Approov Runtime Secrets Protection: Just in Time Keys Secrets That Thwart Mobile API Attacks
This is why Approov is releasing new functionality in Approov 3.0 which addresses this issue by making management of API keys and other secrets easy and secure, at rest, or in transit.
Approov Runtime Secrets Protection manages and protects all the secrets a mobile app uses. The Approov cloud service delivers secrets “just-in-time” to the app only at the moment they are required to make an API call, and only when the app and its runtime environment has passed attestation. This ensures that sensitive API secrets are not being continuously stored or delivered to unsafe places, such as fake apps or into malicious hands.
All secrets are stored by the Approov cloud service and are easy to manage dynamically. If changes to these are needed, they are easily and immediately changed across all deployed apps, preventing abuse.
This approach marks a major improvement over keys that are hard coded in the app itself, because should those keys be “leaked” the app must be updated with an entirely new version – a process which is complex and time-consuming, and involves juggling new and old keys during the time it takes for the installed base to be transferred to the new version.