As a fellow technology geek, I‘m sure you‘ll agree – mobile apps have become deeply ingrained in our daily lives. But with the rising popularity of mobile apps, there has also been an explosion of security threats targeting them.
Recent research shows that over 43% of mobile apps contain at least one security vulnerability. And the stakes are high – a single undetected flaw can lead to massive data breaches, financial frauds, and permanent reputational damage.
So as developers and app owners, we need to be proactive about identifying and fixing vulnerabilities in mobile apps before they get exploited. This is where automated mobile app security scanners come in really handy.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll be sharing my top 12 picks for mobile app security scanners along with insightful analysis on their key capabilities.
Let‘s get started!
Why Mobile App Security Matters
With mobile apps handling sensitive user data and transactions, security is paramount. Some examples of risks introduced by vulnerable mobile apps:
Data theft: Flaws like insecure data storage or transmission can lead to hacking of sensitive user information like passwords, financial information, location, etc. No one wants their personal data stolen!
Financial fraud: Vulnerabilities like broken authentication allow attackers to gain unauthorized access and perform financial transactions on behalf of users. This can result in massive monetary losses.
Reputational damage: Security incidents like data breaches often result in loss of user trust and bad press for the affected companies. For apps, millions of dollars are invested in building a brand, which can come crashing down due to incidents arising from poor security.
According to a recent survey by ThreatFabric, over 35% of the top 100 finance apps contain at least one security flaw or privacy-violating feature. This highlights why financial apps need rigorous security testing.
Another report by IG found that some of the most hacked mobile apps include dating apps, social media apps, messaging apps. Clearly, security should be the top priority for these popular app categories handling highly sensitive user interactions.
Top 12 Mobile App Security Scanners
1. AppRay – Recommended for Startups
AppRay is an intelligent mobile app security platform combining advanced static and dynamic techniques to detect vulnerabilities in iOS and Android apps.
I‘d especially recommend AppRay for lean startups that need robust security testing without complex setups. Its self-serve SaaS platform allows getting started instantly without extensive consulting or professional services.
Some key strengths:
- Scans apps for OWASP Top 10 and critical risks
- User-friendly SaaS platform
- Detailed vulnerability reports
- Dynamic analysis detects issues at runtime
- Fully automated scanning and reporting
The dynamic analysis testing uncovers risks manifesting only at runtime – like data leakage, broken access controls etc. This addresses a key gap compared to traditional static analyzers.
The detailed reports provide an overview of all vulnerabilities along with actionable remediation advice. As a developer, I find this super useful to fix the identified flaws quickly.
Automated scan scheduling and CI/CD integration also minimizes the overhead of running regular security testing.
2. Astra Pentest – Comprehensive Vulnerability Coverage
Astra Pentest is an advanced automated scanner engineered to find security vulnerabilities in iOS and Android apps.
It stands out with comprehensive vulnerability coverage including over 8000+ test cases across app architecture, network communications, data handling, encryption, and more.
Some notable strengths:
- Blackbox pentesting without access to source code
- Wide range of vulnerability checks
- Prioritizes flaws based on risk impact
- Integrates with Jira, Slack etc.
- Generates reports with step-by-step remediation
The highlight is Astra‘s evolving scanner engine which leverages the latest threat research and intelligence to identify both established and emerging vulnerabilities.
This allows uncovering risks from new attack techniques, hacking tools, and recently discovered software flaws. Proactive protection against new threats is a must-have for security-critical apps.
The reports provide a risk rating and step-by-step guidance to address each finding. This level of actionable insight accelerates remediation.
3. Codified Security – Designed for Secure DevOps
Codified Security seamlessly integrates mobile app security scans into the software development lifecycle. This allows developers to find and remediate vulnerabilities early on – leading to higher quality and more secure app releases.
Some notable features:
- Scans native iOS, Android, hybrid, React Native apps
- Analyzes code, dependencies, secrets, configuration
- Integrates with IDEs, build tools, CI/CD
- Compliance checks for GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA
- Granular reports with code snippets
By embedding security scans into the developer workflow, vulnerabilities can be fixed when they are easiest to remediate – while coding. This is a great fit for teams adopting DevSecOps practices.
The granular reports provide detailed context like file names and code snippets. This simplifies diagnosing and resolving findings for developers.
4. MobSF – Open Source Option
MobSF is an open source automated security testing framework for probing iOS, Android and Windows mobile apps.
It offers a compelling set of capabilities considering it is available at no license cost:
- Static and dynamic analysis of app packages
- Malware analysis and threat intelligence
- Customizable rules for configurable security checks
- API and browser-based interface
- CI/CD integration
- Interactive reports for investigation
MobSF employs static analysis to uncover code-level issues, malware strains, suspicious API calls etc. The dynamic component provides runtime testing to detect encryption weaknesses, authentication bypass and other logical flaws.
The scanner findings can be consumed through the browser-based interface with drill-down capabilities making it easy to investigate results.
For developers with tight budgets but needing comprehensive mobile app security assessments, MobSF is an attractive option. The open source community also helps accelerate capability expansion.
5. Quixxi – Online Vulnerability Scanning
Quixxi offers an easy-to-use online app security scanner for testing iOS and Android app packages.
It is designed for simplicity – just upload the IPA or APK file and get results within minutes. Some notable aspects:
- Blackbox pentesting of mobile apps
- Tests for OWASP Mobile Top 10
- Analysis of open source libraries
- CI/CD integration
- Triage vulnerabilities by criticality
- Malware scanning
Despite the ease of use, Quixxi employs advanced static and dynamic analysis techniques to provide broad vulnerability coverage including encryption, data storage, server communications, configurations, etc.
The online reports classify findings into priority levels based on severity and risk. This allows focusing on fixes with maximum security impact first.
For developers needing frequent security checks as part of CI/CD workflows, the speed and automation make Quixxi very convenient.
6. Ostorlab – Simplifies Remediation
Ostorlab offers an intuitive online app security scanner for iOS and Android packages with an emphasis on simplified remediation.
Some key strengths:
- Blackbox testing without requiring source code
- Scanner engine maps vulnerabilities to remediation advice
- Malware detection using threat intelligence
- Analysis of data leakage risks
- CI/CD integration
- Vulnerability management and reporting
The scanner combines static analysis to uncover configuration issues, hardcoded secrets, etc. along with dynamic analysis to detect logical flaws at runtime.
The detailed reports are structured around remediation – describing each vulnerability finding along with clear steps to fix it. This helps accelerate the process of securing vulnerable apps.
For developers with tight deadlines and needing frictionless app security testing, Ostorlab hits the sweet spot.
7. SandDroid – Broad Analysis of Android Apps
SandDroid is an automated security analysis platform specialized for testing Android apps.
It performs extensive app profiling including:
- Static and dynamic analysis
- File metadata analysis
- Network traffic inspection
- Monitoring app behavior and sensitive API usage
- Custom sandbox testing environments
- Malware detection
SandDroid executes apps in isolated sandboxes to analyze network traffic, access to sensitive resources like contacts, camera, etc. This reveals flaws due to misconfiguration, insecure data handling, suspicious activity etc.
The static techniques also provide code-level insight by disassembling and decompiling apps to uncover embedded secrets, privacy-violating features, etc.
For Android-focused developers and testers, SandDroid delivers robust security assessment capabilities.
8. ImmuniWeb MobileSuite – Integrated Security Platform
ImmuniWeb MobileSuite offers an integrated mobile app security testing platform covering automated scanning, manual testing, and vulnerability management.
Some key aspects:
- Automated static and dynamic analysis
- One-click testing of iOS and Android apps
- Manual pen testing and source code review
- Integrates with CI/CD tools
- Customizable API for automation
- Detailed reporting of security issues
The platform combines intelligent scanners, human-driven pen testing, and an application security knowledge base for comprehensive testing. This allows assessing apps in-depth for risks.
The scanner vulnerability findings are augmented with manual verification and investigation for accuracy. The knowledge base maps vulnerabilities to solutions accelerating remediation.
For product teams wanting to deeply integrate mobile app sec testing into the SDLC, ImmuniWeb checks all the boxes.
9. Jscrambler – Runtime Protection
Jscrambler offers a mobile app security solution focused on runtime protection, code obfuscation, and real-time monitoring.
- Runtime self-protection against tampering
- Real-time detection of suspicious activity
- Monitoring of app behavior
- Alerting unauthorized access or anomalies
- Reporting of security events
The runtime application self-protection (RASP) capabilities protect apps against manipulation or tampering. Behavior monitoring detects suspicious activities like unauthorized access, unusual network traffic etc.
These dynamically-triggered capabilities provide protection against emerging threats including client-side attacks, reverse engineering, tampering etc. – complementing traditional app security testing.
10. Snyk – Open Source Library Scanning
Snyk focuses on security testing of open source libraries integrated into mobile apps. Vulnerable open source components are a leading cause of insecure apps.
- Scans dependencies against known vulnerabilities
- Identifies license compliance issues
- Developers can view fixes and upgrade dependency versions
- CLI integration for automated testing
- CI/CD integration
- Reporting on vulnerable libraries/versions
The scanner checks the integrated open source libraries against databases containing over 2.5 million vulnerabilities along with their remediation status.
This allows uncovering vulnerable component versions early and upgrading them to secure releases before releasing the apps.
For teams extensively using open source libraries, Snyk is invaluable for weeding out vulnerable components before apps get shipped.
11. NowSecure Lab – Manual App Security Assessments
NowSecure Lab provides professional manual security testing services for mobile apps on demand. This includes:
- Manual penetration testing
- Source code auditing
- Vulnerability assessments a la carte
- Testing for compliance requirements like GDPR, HIPAA
- Adversarial simulation testing
- Highly skilled security testers
The experts perform thorough manual testing using techniques like fuzzing, abuse case testing, reverse engineering etc. This acts as a complementary capability in addition to automated scanners.
For highly sensitive apps requiring deep security expertise and custom testing, NowSecure Lab is a leading choice. The flexible, expert-driven assessments provide in-depth vulnerability scrutiny.
12. Micro Focus Fortify – Code Analysis
Micro Focus Fortify on Demand specializes in static and dynamic analysis of source code for security vulnerabilities.
- Analysis of source code written in Java, Swift, Kotlin, Objective-C and more
- Scans for security defects like SQLi, XSS, weak cryptography
- Integration into IDEs like Visual Studio, Eclipse etc.
- Continuous analysis as part of CI/CD pipelines
- Custom rule packs for security standards like OWASP
- Reporting to help prioritize and fix vulnerabilities
Fortify combines automated code analysis techniques, security audits, and threat intelligence to uncover vulnerabilities in source code early during development.
The scanner findings are presented in detailed reports allowing developers to understand and fix the findings. Fortify also provides support for enforcing secure coding standard through custom rule packs.
For product teams looking to embed security analysis into the coding process, Fortify On Demand provides a scalable solution.
As you can see, there are a number of powerful mobile app security scanners available based on your specific needs – whether you need code analysis, open source scanning, dynamic analysis, manual testing or integrated solutions.
Personally, I recommend using multiple scanners like a SAST tool combined with a DAST scanner for comprehensive coverage. Integrating security testing into your CI/CD processes is also key to finding and fixing issues early.
The most important thing is establishing security assessments as a standard practice when developing, testing and releasing mobile apps. This goes a long way in preventing data breaches down the road by detecting flaws ahead of time.
So try out some of these scanners during your next app testing cycle and let me know if you have any other recommendations! I‘m always looking to learn about new automated tools that can make mobile app security testing easier.