API Security Threats in Mobile Healthcare Markets

Securing Mobile Healthcare Apps and their APIs

Mobile healthcare applications and the APIs they access are at the heart of the new healthcare ecosystem. Tablet and mobile apps are used by practitioners for all aspects of treatment and practice management, and by patients to control and access healthcare data. Government regulations are driving patient ownership of data while requiring secure interoperability. APIs must be protect against unauthorized access to Personal Health Information (PHI) and ensure HIPAA compliance in this highly regulated industry.

Defend Sensitive Data and Protect your APIs from Attack

Approov Mobile App Protection provides a multi-factor, end-to-end mobile API security solution that complements identity management, endpoint, and device protection to lock-down proper API usage. Only safe and approved apps can successfully use your APIs. Bots and fake or tampered apps are all easily turned away and PHI is protected.

Approov Provides Complete API Protection for mHeath Apps and APIs including:

Attacks on your APIs: Bad actors use BOTS and automated scripts to attack your APIs directly, exposing patient data using exploits such as BOLA, and potentially degrading or overwhelming your back-end services.

Approov Solution: Approov ensures that traffic destined for your API is always coming from the legitimate mobile app and not a third-party tool. This ensures synthetic traffic generated by account takeover (ATO) tools and other API clients is blocked, protecting you from DDoS attacks. Traffic from bots and automations are eliminated while no valid app traffic is rejected.

Man-in-the-middle Attacks: You can't depend on patients and healthcare professionals being on secure networks and if your TLS is not implemented properly third parties can steal secrets and manipulate your APIs.

Approov Solution: Approov makes sure best-practices for TLS implementation are in place all the time, ensuring all API calls are protected and man-in-the-middle attacks are eliminated. Approov provides easy administration of certificates and makes it easy to ensure pinning is implemented correctly, eliminating the concern over apps being blocked when problems arise with a certificate.

Compromised Mobile Client Environment: Even if your app's authenticity checks out, it may still be running in a compromised environment.

Approov Solution: Approov detects rooted/jailbroken devices, apps running in debuggers or on emulators, or malicious instrumentation frameworks manipulating your apps. You choose the security policy that meets your needs. Security changes are rolled out over the air without requiring app updates.

Stolen user credentials: Bad actors perform credential stuffing attacks on your APIs.

Approov Solution: Approov eliminates volumetric credential stuffing attacks on your APIs by restricting access only to genuine instances of your app.

Mhealth Infographic

30 mobile healthcare apps were tested, and every one displayed API vulnerabilities that exposed personal healthcare data.

Read All That We Let In, a 2021 report by Alissa Knight, to learn what you can do about it.

Read Playing with FHIR, our follow up 2021 report, also by Alissa Knight, about the particular issues around FHIR EHR implementations.

Ensure Compliance

Approov adds additional security controls to the SMART/FHIR framework and makes it easy to demonstrate HIPAA operational controls are in place to protect your APIs.

Monitor and Report: You need to demonstrate controls are in place and effective.

Approov Solution: App attestation traffic monitoring and security failure analytics are available for both command-line and graphical analysis. Anonymized data provides information on the cause of the security failures and information about the app, device, and network environments.

Control your Security: React to new threats and control policy.

Approov Solution: Approov’s security layers operate frictionlessly for your users. Secure over-the-air capabilities update security policies, deliver enhancements, upgrade or rotate certificates, blacklist specific devices, or deregister specific app versions.

Easily Integrate and Operate: Seamlessly integrate with other controls to create a unified solution.

Approov Solution: Easy SDK integration on the frontend is combined with industry standard token checks on the backend. Approov integrates easily and seamlessly with your Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution. A wide range of existing mobile platforms and backend service integrations are provided. A unified command line interface provides easy DevSecOps integration into your existing developer and operations infrastructure.

Mhealth Physician

Learn how MV used Approov to quickly plug a serious API security hole uncovered during product pentesting.

MV's Customer Story

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