The smartphone market has exploded in recent years, leading to the development of over 4 million mobile apps. For mobile developers, this is both a blessing and a challenge, since there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to bringing an application to market. But with the advent of cloud computing, programmers no longer have to worry about owning or even renting space on a server to run their applications. Using a new architecture, they can just pay for the computing power they actually use and have a “serverless app.”
Of course, saying an app is “serverless” is a bit of a misnomer since applications still require servers to run. The difference here is that cloud providers now run and manage the servers, allowing developers to concentrate on front-end usability. This is convenient for developers, but unfortunately it does open the door to new risks.
Because many backend functions are outsourced to third-party services, serverlesss apps have more components than traditionally built apps. This increases the potential attack surface. To put it simply, cyber thieves have a lot more windows to break into if they want to steal customer data, access accounts, steal passwords, or launch attacks.
This is a real drawback, but this new architecture style is still very popular because it has a lot of benefits for developers. They can produce apps quickly and scale them more easily, using smaller development teams, at a lower cost. This is important given the lucrative growth of the smartphone market, which surpassed PC users back in 2014. Serverless apps help developers meet users’ growing demand for new and useful applications.
This development style can also benefit the millions of smartphone users, who get more app options, and a faster release of both new features and bug fixes.
With so many upsides, there is now a wide range of cloud service providers fighting for market share by offering more and more outsourced app functions, such as troubleshooting, statistics, coding, and content delivery.
But while the convenience and cost savings of serverless apps has meant that they have grown exponentially, there is not as much information yet on how secure the new architecture. That means that as an app user, it’s up to you to take as many precautions as you can to keep your data and devices safe. And the truth is downloading any kind of app can bring some degree of risk, whether they are “serverless” or not.
Follow theses important safety tips to protect yourself from a variety of app risks:
- Use Mobile Security. Consider this your frontline of defense against risky apps and any other mobile threats. Comprehensive security software can protect you against mobile malware, scan for dangerous apps, and ensure that your private information stays safe.
- Consider Using a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) is a piece of software that allows you to safely connect to the Internet over a public network. It encrypts, or scrambles, any data that you send over the network so it cannot be intercepted by cybercriminals. This is important since many public Wi-Fi networks are unsecured, and have become a growing target for cybercriminals. Using a personal VPN is especially important if you like to connect to the internet on the go, or are frequently away from your secure home network.
- Keep Up-to-Date. Stay informed on the latest threats so you know what to look out for. The security landscape changes quickly, especially in the mobile world, so you want to make sure that you have the best tools and practices to protect both your data and your devices.
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