We're Hiring!

Addressing Security Threats in Connected Car Mobile Apps with Approov

Connected car concept, including a modern car with a mobile app interface on a smartphone

In today's increasingly connected world, the automotive industry has not been immune to the transformative power of mobile technology. Connected car mobile apps offer a plethora of functionalities, from remote start to navigation and diagnostics. However, with these advancements come significant security threats. In this article, we will delve into the key security threats faced by connected car mobile apps and how Approov's innovative mobile security solutions mitigate these risks.

Threat 1: Unauthorized Third-Party Apps

Unauthorized third-party apps often replicate the functionalities of official connected car apps and promote them directly to consumers. While some may add value, they also introduce several risks:

  1. Monetary Costs: Poor coding practices and lack of adherence to access policies by these third-party apps can lead to excessive consumption of cloud resources, inflating costs.
  2. Operational Distractions: Unauthorized access to APIs can trigger false alarms, creating unnecessary work for DevOps teams.
  3. Reputation Damage: Inferior quality and performance of these apps can degrade user experience and harm the brand's reputation.

Approov's Mitigation: Approov Mobile Security ensures that only authorized apps can access backend APIs. By continuously validating the legitimacy of API requests, Approov prevents unauthorized third-party apps from abusing API keys. This not only reduces cloud costs but also minimizes operational distractions and protects the brand's reputation.

Threat 2: Direct API Access by Hackers and Hobbyists

APIs provide critical data that can be exploited for both beneficial and malicious purposes. Enthusiasts and hackers often create custom integrations that lead to:

  1. High System Load: Indiscriminate access and continuous polling of APIs for vehicle data can overwhelm systems.
  2. Evasion of Security Measures: Communities adeptly bypass blocks, creating a persistent challenge for security teams.
  3. Theft and Abuse of API Keys: Vulnerabilities in published APIs are quickly exploited by hackers.

Approov's Mitigation: Approov's advanced API protection restricts access to verified, legitimate apps, ensuring that unauthorized code cannot exploit the API. This reduces system load and prevents security evasion. Approov also enables the immediate rotation of API keys when necessary, without requiring app updates.

Threat 3: Bots

In markets where connected car apps integrate social media functionalities, bots pose significant risks by:

  1. Generating Fake Content: Bots can create fake posts and likes, compromising the integrity of the community.
  2. Monetary Fraud: Automated processes can fraudulently earn virtual credits, leading to financial losses.
  3. Denial of Service Attacks: Repeated bot requests can strain backend systems, causing service interruptions.

Approov's Mitigation: Approov validates each request's authenticity, ensuring only genuine users interact with the app. This prevents bots from creating fake accounts, generating content, and earning credits fraudulently, thus maintaining a secure and trustworthy community.

Overall Benefits of Approov

By addressing these critical threats, Approov offers comprehensive benefits:

  1. Monetary Savings: Preventing unauthorized access and reducing unnecessary cloud usage leads to significant cost savings.
  2. Enhanced Security: Continuous inspection and validation ensure that only legitimate requests are processed, enhancing overall security.
  3. Reputation Protection: Ensuring a seamless and secure user experience helps maintain and protect the brand’s reputation.
  4. Operational Efficiency: Reducing false alarms and unauthorized activities allows DevOps teams to focus on real issues, improving operational efficiency.
  5. Adaptability: Approov allows dynamic updates to app access and security policies without requiring user updates, providing real-time protection against emerging threats.


The proliferation of connected car mobile apps brings both convenience and security challenges. Approov's robust mobile security solutions address these challenges head-on, mitigating significant risks, reducing costs, protecting reputation, and ensuring stable and secure cloud operations. As the automotive industry continues to innovate, adopting comprehensive security measures like Approov will be crucial in safeguarding connected car ecosystems.

Pearce Erensel

- Global VP of Sales, Approov
Pearce’s cybersecurity experience stems from 7 years of securing mobile apps in highly regulated industries like banking, automotive, and medical device manufacturing. His client-focused approach has helped companies successfully tackle significant challenges in mobile app and API security. Pearce lauds Approov's innovative, seamless, and adaptable approach, recognizing its potential to revolutionize mobile app security.