Menu
NIST taking input for mobile security guidelines

NIST taking input for mobile security guidelines

A new NIST publication aims to alert enterprises of potential security dangers within commercial apps

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a guide for testing third-party apps to ensure that they are secure and don't introduce any vulnerabilities.

The government agency has prepared a draft of its recommendations, "Technical Considerations for Vetting 3rd Party Mobile Applications," and is seeking industry feedback by Sept. 18. The aim is to help enterprises make full use of commercial mobile programs.

"Agencies and organizations need to know what a mobile app really does and to be aware of its potential privacy and security impact so they can mitigate any potential risks," said NIST computer scientist Tom Karygiannis in a statement announcing the release of the draft.

The draft publication "describes tests that allow software security analysts to discover and understand vulnerabilities and behaviors before the app is approved for use," Karygiannis said.

The document, once finished, will give organizations a guide for testing third-party apps that they may want to use for official business. It will also detail the different types of vulnerabilities commonly found on Android and Apple iOS devices.

Many of today's mobile apps, such as calendars, require access rights to various parts of the device's OS. Granting permissions to these apps, however, can introduce security vulnerabilities to a secured system. For instance, giving a collaboration app access to a contact list could inadvertently reveal names on the list that should remain private.

Mobile devices can also gather a lot of data unbeknownst to the owner of the device. Malware, for instance, could be surreptitiously installed to record phone conversations, or users could be secretly tracked through the phone's GPS functionality.

In addition to offering techniques for testing and vetting apps, the publication will also provide descriptions of undesirable behavior, how to manage an app through its entire life cycle, and examples of how vulnerabilities could lead to system compromises.

Beyond security, the publication will also detail how to manage the power that apps can consume on a device.

An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST works with industry to develop standards and technologies to encourage innovation, advance U.S. economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile securityU.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology

Featured

Slideshows

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 500 technology leaders in Auckland on 21 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards
Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments