Today, social media apps have made it possible for technology professionals and everyone else to access the world with a single thumb. Social media apps have become indispensible to professionals across all areas of technology for connecting with customers, reaching out to identify new opportunities, and to monitor trends with up-to-the-minute immediacy. Although the technology has changed the industry for the better in a lot of ways, it’s also something of a double-edged sword. Social media apps have put technology professionals in touch with the world, but they also have opened the door to an entirely new host of threats that can bring disaster.

Hackers are always on the lookout for weaknesses in mobile apps they can exploit for their own ends. No matter how small the user base for an app is, hackers can and will look for their weaknesses in order to steal sensitive information, spread malware and viruses, or turn those apps against the wishes of their creators. These efforts can be brute-force attempts, such as denial-of-service attacks that try to overwhelm an app with nonsense commands that effectively paralyze it. They also can take the form of cross-site scripting attacks that rewrite portions of an app’s code and force it to behave in ways that were not intended. Although major companies spend an average of $1.8 million a year just on app security, vulnerabilities and threats still remain. No matter what form these security threats take, it’s important for technology professionals to understand what they are, how hackers can use them to hijack apps, and how they can be stopped.

For example, an SQL injection attack involves a hacker using a common access point such as a password or username field to insert an SQL command other than those intended. If an app is not structured to restrict the types of SQL commands that can be injected into those fields, a hacker may be able to gain control of an app’s entire database. Including code strings that force the application to replace single apostrophes with double apostrophes so hackers can’t use it as a string delimiter is one method for preventing these types of attacks; as is eliminating any debugging information that is pushed to the user in the event of an application error.

Apps have made accessing the world easier than ever, but they also make it easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and wreak havoc. The following presentation outlines many of the most common security threats facing apps and how they can be mitigated. Armed with this knowledge, technology professionals can shut down threats before they have a chance to become catastrophic.

Check out this presentation created by Column Information Security for more information, here.

Author Bio: Nori De Jesus is Global Director of Marketing at Column Information Security. De Jesus brings more than 20 years of experience as an advent marketer and business strategist working with software manufacturers and launching proprietary software solutions into the market. With expertise in BPM and case management B2B marketing, she focuses on innovation and making a difference by maintaining agility as the technology climate continues to shift. De Jesus is an evangelist in educating buyers through their technology-purchasing journey via content and research.