10 Latest Mobile App Security Threats in 2024 (Updated List)

Mayanka Pant
Jun 10, 2024


No matter what your mobile app is all about, as long as it uses the internet, has third-party APIs integrated, and is open to the public, you will need to be aware of the potential mobile app security threats. Sometimes, you spend all your efforts on finding the bugs, and it turns out to be a security vulnerability that pushes your app to the edge of failure. So, knowing about these mobile app security threats will help businesses and developers diagnose the issues early and fix them before they reach users. 

In this write-up, we will help you identify the top 10 latest mobile app security threats, so you know how to protect your app in a timely manner and how much you should prioritize security in the mobile app development process. As we know, mobile apps nowadays rely entirely on the internet to access, and the sensitive data and private information it stores are always vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. In such a situation, it is your responsibility to protect your users' data and privacy and provide them with a safer environment. 

So, this blog will be all about identifying the most common and the latest mobile app security threats. Early detection of these security vulnerabilities will save your business from falling victim to cyber-attacks, which could result in private data theft, financial losses, or even your app failure. So, let’s get started!

Some Astounding Statistics About Mobile App Security Threats

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Well! we are not here to discourage you, but the fact is that only 0.1% of consumer apps manage to be successful, and the rest, 99.5%, end up failing; the major factor behind it is believed to be related to security. Here are some fact-based statistics about mobile app security that are enough to surprise you:

  • Over 38% of users share their location unintentionally through social apps. (Source: The Manifest)
  • Malicious apps contribute to half of the total mobile app security threats. (Source: McAfee)
  • 83% of mobile apps have at least one security vulnerability. (Source: New Era Technology)
  • 1 in every 36 mobile phones is compromised by a security threat. (Source: Getastra.com)
  • 55.7% of users considered fraud as the most alarming cybercrime issue related to mobile apps. (Source: Statista.com)

Top Mobile App Security Threats to Know in 2024

So, now that you have understood the importance of mobile app security, let’s chalk down some of the most common threats to mobile apps. 

1. Malware Attacks

Malware can be refer to code that can harm your mobile app or even your device by accessing private information. These attacks are usually spread through links, downloads, or apps. As million of people downloads apps from unsecured sites and links every day, these attacks are becoming prevalent day by day. 

The malicious apps pose a great risk and were a significant contribution to the total mobile app security threats in 2019, according to McAfee report. Today, hackers use various tactics to access the user’s personal information. 


The most common tactics include creating mobile apps embedded with malicious codes, creating clones of popular apps to deceive users, or even injecting codes into legitimate apps. Understanding how malware attacks spread is crucial for safeguarding mobile app’s personal data.

2. Social Engineering

Social engineering remains the most dangerous mobile app security threat in 2024. It is one of the most favored methods for cybercriminals as it targets human errors rather than technical vulnerabilities. 

The fact that makes it more dangerous is that it is easier to trick humans than to breach an entire security system. According to Verizon's Data Breach Investigations report, 80% of cyberattacks involving data breaches are due to human interactions. 

In 2023, social engineering was among the top tactics to access employee’s data and credentials. You will be surprised to know that over 75% of cyberattacks start with email (You might have also got an email for winning a $1 billion lottery). The other tactics of social engineering include phishing and ransomware. 

Phishing attacks are also on the rise these days. For instance, the crypto-related attacks rose from 200% between 2020 to 2021. The continuous rise in popularity and price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are said to be the main causes behind these attacks. 

3. Third-Party Exposure


Cybercriminals have found a way to bypass security measures by infiltrating networks of third parties that have special access to their primary target. A significant instance of this was seen in early 2021 when personal data from over 214 million accounts across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were exposed. This was made possible by the hackers breaching a third-party contractor, Socialarks, which was employed by all three platforms and had special access to their networks.

In 2023, the threat of third-party breaches escalated as companies began to rely more on independent contractors for tasks previously performed by full-time employees. 

Criminal organizations continue to focus on network access: In April 2021, hackers infiltrated the U.S.'s Colonial Pipeline by obtaining compromised credentials and accessing a VPN that did not have multi-factor authentication, leading to a Bitcoin payment of $5 million to restore access.

A 2021 workforce trends report revealed that over half of the businesses are more open to hiring freelancers due to the shift to remote work brought about by COVID-19. The trend of a remote or distributed workforce will persistently pose security challenges for organizations of all sizes.

Post-COVID-19, the FBI reported a surge in cyberattacks by 300%. A study discovered that 53% of adults believe that remote work has significantly eased the way for hackers and cybercriminals to exploit people. 

Cybersecurity firm CyberArk states that 96% of organizations allow these external entities access to crucial systems, thereby potentially leaving an unprotected access point to their data for hackers to exploit.

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4. Poor Cyber Hygiene

"Cyber Hygiene" refers to making efforts to keep the mobile app safe from cyber attacks. It includes leveraging tactics, such as steering clear of unsecured WiFi networks and employing protective measures like VPNs or multi-factor authentication. Regrettably, studies indicate that Americans' cyber hygiene routines are far from satisfactory.

A staggering 60% of organizations depend on human memory for password management and 42% use sticky notes for the same purpose. Over half (54%) of IT professionals do not mandate the use of two-factor authentication for corporate account access, and a mere 37% of individuals use two-factor authentication for their personal accounts.


Less than half (45%) of Americans claim they would alter their password following a data breach, and a scant 34% report changing their passwords on a regular basis.

The rise in remote work has led to systems safeguarded by weak passwords accessed from unsecured home networks. Passwords noted on sticky notes are now appearing in public cafes, and employees are logging into their accounts on personal devices that are more likely to be misplaced or stolen.

Organizations and individuals failing to enhance their cyber practices are now at a significantly higher risk. Interestingly, IT professionals often exhibit poorer cyber cleanliness habits than average: 50% of IT employees admit to reusing passwords across work accounts, compared to only 39% of the general population.

5. Data Breaches

Data management is not all about keeping your storage system clean but taking security measures to keep it safe and secure. The amount of data accessed by a single user doubles every four years, but only half of it is ever used. The rest of the unused data leads to confusion and vulnerability to cyber-attacks. 

Security breaches due to data mishandling can be costlier than ever. You will be shocked to learn about a data mishandling incident in 2018 when Aetna paid $17 million for mailing sensitive health information in the wrong envelope. 

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Due to the exponential explosion of data in the last few years, experts have predicted that 2024 will be all about shifting from ‘Big Data’ to ‘Right Data.’ 

The development team should increase its reliance on automation, which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, to help with the data sorting. Automated programs are like spiderwebs; even a single change affects the entire structure. While data automation relies on AI, the rules and settings of it are still instructed by humans, which is susceptible to human errors. 

6. Configuration Mistakes

Even the most advanced security systems are prone to at least one cybersecurity risk in their installation or setup. A study of 268 tests by cybersecurity firm Rapid7 revealed that 80% of external penetration tests found a misconfiguration that could be exploited. 

When the attacker had access to the internal system, using third-party access or physical office infiltration, the percentage of exploitable configuration errors soared to 96%.

The year 2023 saw an increase in the number of errors made by employees due to the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, socio-political unrest, and persistent financial stress, providing cybercriminals with more opportunities to exploit. 

A report by Lyra Health indicated that the pandemic has affected the mental health of 81% of employees, with 65% stating that their work performance has been directly impacted by their mental health.

This added stress only intensifies an existing problem: According to the Ponemon Institute, half of IT professionals confess they are unsure about the effectiveness of their installed cybersecurity tools. This suggests that at least half of IT professionals are not conducting regular internal tests and maintenance.

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7. Cloud Vulnerabilities

Despite the expectation that cloud security would improve over time, the reality is quite different. IBM has reported a 150% surge in cloud vulnerabilities over the past five years. Furthermore, Verizon's DBIR discovered that web app breaches were responsible for more than 90% of the 29,000 breaches examined in their report.

Gartner has identified cloud security as the most rapidly expanding segment in the cybersecurity market, witnessing a growth of 41% from $595 million in 2020 to $841 million in 2021..


Advances in cloud security have included the adoption of the "Zero Trust" cloud security architecture. Zero Trust systems operate under the assumption that the network is already compromised, requiring verification at every stage and with every login rather than providing continuous access to recognized devices or those within the network perimeter.

This approach to security gained traction in 2021 and is anticipated to become increasingly popular in the upcoming year.

8. Mobile Device Vulnerabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the use of mobile devices. This is not only because remote workers are increasingly dependent on them but also because experts have advocated for the widespread use of mobile wallets and contactless payment methods to reduce the spread of germs.

The increase in the number of smartphone users makes them an attractive target for cybercriminals. The vulnerabilities of mobile devices have been amplified by the rise in remote work, leading to a surge in companies adopting bring-your-own-device policies. 

As per the Mobile Security Report by Check Point Software, in 2021, nearly half (46%) of the companies faced a security incident due to a malicious mobile app downloaded by an employee.

Interestingly, cybercriminals have started to exploit Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems, which are intended to help companies manage their devices securely and protect corporate data. Since MDMs are linked to the entire network of mobile devices, hackers can use them to launch simultaneous attacks on all employees in a company.

9. Internet of Things

Applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) in business | Nexford  University

The shift to remote work due to the pandemic has resulted in more than 25% of the American workforce transitioning from their workspaces to their homes. In these homes, at least one smart device is present in 70% of cases. 

As a consequence, there was a significant increase in attacks on these smart devices, also known as "Internet of Things (IoT)" devices, with over 1.5 billion breaches reported in the first half of 2021.

The average American's lax cyber hygiene practices, coupled with IoT connectivity, have created a plethora of opportunities for hackers. It's estimated that a typical smart device comes under attack within five minutes of connecting to the internet. Furthermore, a smart home equipped with a variety of IoT devices could be subjected to as many as 12,000 hacking attempts in a single week.

Experts forecast that the demand for smart devices will double from 2021 to 2025, leading to an expanded network of potential entry points for breaches into personal and corporate systems. 

By 2023, the number of cellular IoT connections is projected to hit 3.5 billion and it's predicted that over a quarter of all business cyberattacks will be IoT-related by the end of 2025.

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10. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have seen a dramatic surge in their financial impact in recent times. From 2018 to 2020, the typical ransom attack costs increased from $5,000 to a staggering $200,000. These attacks also inflict financial damage on businesses due to the revenue loss during the period their systems are held hostage, which averages 21 days.

A 2021 study involving 1,263 cybersecurity experts revealed that 66% of their organizations experienced substantial revenue losses following a ransomware attack. A third of the respondents reported that their company had lost senior leadership through either termination or resignation, and 29% indicated that their companies had to eliminate positions in the aftermath of a ransomware attack.


As criminal groups strive to circumvent the OFAC block list and employ aggressive payment strategies, ransomware attacks are expected to persist and evolve. Cybercriminals now have the option to subscribe to "Ransomware-as-a-Service" providers, which enable them to launch attacks using pre-developed ransomware tools in return for a share of all successful ransom payments.

Like legitimate software firms, cybercriminal groups are constantly enhancing their arsenal for their own use and clients' benefit. This includes efforts to expedite data exfiltration. Occasionally, these threat actors resort to rebranding their ransomware, making minor modifications along the way.

Microsoft reports that a whopping 96.88% of all ransomware infections successfully breach their target in less than four hours. The quickest malicious software can seize control of a company's system in less than 45 minutes.

11. Inadequate Post-Attack Preparations

What would be your next step after your mobile app survives a cyber security attack? Of course, you will take even more security measures to avoid such attacks in the future. But that’s not the case everywhere. In a 2021 survey, 80% of all participating companies admitted that they experienced a second ransom attack soon after they submitted a ransom payment. 

In fact, 6% of these attacks could have been prevented if an available patch had been applied, and 39% of them admitted that they were aware of the mobile app security vulnerabilities before the attack occurred. 

The best practice for avoiding such security attacks in the future is to adopt a subscription model for patch management software. Patching-as-a-service (PaaS) products offer updates and patches regularly for increased speed and efficiency. Automated patching also helps reduce the patch vulnerabilities due to human errors. 


As with technology expanding at a wildfire speed, new cybersecurity threats are emerging day by day. However, staying aware of and protecting against these mobile app security threats will help you be one step ahead of cybercriminals. 

With hackers developing new attack strategies and tactics, even the most fortified and robust security systems could potentially fail against these attacks. That’s why it is essential to have a mobile app security strategy in place to protect against these potential risks. 

Having comprehensive cybersecurity defenses and following the best practices will help you rest assured that your mobile app is protected. For more information and help with the latest mobile app security best practices, you can contact Mtoag Technologies anytime. Our cybersecurity expert developers would be happy to assist you. 


What is a Mobile Application Threat?

A mobile application threat refers to potential security vulnerabilities or weaknesses in a mobile app that could be exploited by malicious actors to gain unauthorized access, steal sensitive data, or disrupt app functionality.

What are the Major Security Threats to Mobile Devices?

Major threats to mobile devices include malware, phishing attacks, unsecured Wi-Fi networks, and physical theft. These threats can lead to data breaches, unauthorized access, and loss of personal information.

What Apps Are a Security Risk?

Apps that lack proper security measures, such as those downloaded from unofficial platforms, outdated apps, or apps requesting unnecessary permissions, can pose a security risk.

How do I Secure An Application?

To secure an application, it's important to keep the app and your device's operating system updated, use strong and unique passwords, limit app permissions, and download apps from trusted sources.

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