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8 Things to Ensure Security of Your Mobile Apps

Top 8 Best Practices to Develop Secure Mobile Apps

April 28, 2022 11:00 AM

Mobile Application Security

Developing an app for your company is an incredible way to enhance your consumer experience. However, there's a lot to think about when planning and designing an app. One of the most influential things that you will require to address is the security of your app. Many apps need potentially sensitive data from their users. Mobile apps also regularly upload and download data in wireless online circumstances that may not be secure. If your app lacks the required security, it could lead to the stealing of user data. Theft information can be used by hackers to commit identity theft or credit card fraud. If this were to occur, your app's reputation would nosedive, and your company's reputation would take a hit.

What Is Mobile Application Security?

Mobile application security guides all of the steps you take to secure your mobile app's security and encompasses all of the following:

  • The security features that you execute before the launch of your app
  • All the actions you take to guarantee that your app is compliant with all security rules
  • The constant testing and monitoring of your app for security problems
  • How do you address security problems that pop up?

Why Is It Important?

If you're establishing an app for your clients, then mobile application security is an important component of the growth and maintenance strategy. According to The Cyber Security Breaches Survey, around a third of all businesses reported cyber- attacks on their companies. This number reflects a 60 percent boost in cyberattacks on medium-sized businesses and a 61 percent incline in cyberattacks on large-sized businesses. Mobile application security is important to protecting your company as well as your users. The following are the two main reasons you should concentrate a considerable amount of your attention on mobile application security:

To Address Mobile Application Problems

The moment that a hacker uses a security vulnerability that you weren't aware of, it’s essential to handle it instantly. Hacks and attacks can still happen despite your best measures to mitigate security risks. Be ready for the worst right from the beginning so that you can limit possible damage. Bugs that are slowing the performance of your app could also render security risks. You will require to fix such bugs the moment you find them.

To Decrease Mobile Application Threats

Recognizing potential security problems before any cybercriminals can exploit them is important. According to Positive Technologies information, there were high-risk vulnerabilities discovered in 38 percent of iOS apps and 43 percent of Android apps. The most typical security threat manages to be insecure data storage, which can be used by cybercriminals (or even foreign governments) using malware.

Four Types of Hacking Attacks Associated with a Mobile Application

Browser-based Attacks

These kinds of hacking attacks happen on web servers. These contain a range of activities including phishing, clickjacking, and so on.

SMS-based Attacks

While conducting these types of attacks, the hackers intend to spread unauthorized messages across mobile devices. These texts are addressed to chargeable SMS text services operated by the attacker.

OS-based Attacks

The OS-based attacks are aimed to find loopholes in the mobile working systems like Android and iOS and misuse them.

Application-based Attacks

The application-based attacks are intended to find flaws in the generated application and utilize them to fetch the sensitive information of the user.

The elements like poor encryption, faulty SSL injection, etc. may be the crucial cause of these types of attacks.

Three Most Common Reasons behind Booming Hacking Attempts

Weak Encryption

Weak and faulty encryption authorizes hackers to easily understand your confidential information. Therefore, if you are not following the best encryption techniques, you are most likely to encounter hacking attacks.

Absence of Proper Authentication

The second most significant cause for successful hacking attacks is the lack of proper authentication. Passwords are the oldest method to apply authentication and are losing effects with the advancement in hacking technologies.

Discovering another useful way to execute authentication has become a necessity.

Faulty Storage of Data

User’s information is a liability for you and you should take it with care. If there are mistakes in your data storage procedures, you are likely to fail your user’s confidential data in the hands of hackers.

8 Practices to Build Secure Mobile Applications

Source Code Encryption

As most of the code in a native mobile app is on the client-side, mobile malware can efficiently track the bugs and vulnerabilities within the source code and configuration. Attackers typically repack the recognized apps into the rogue app using the reverse- engineering technique. Then they upload those apps into third-party app accounts with the intent to attract unsuspecting users.

Threats like these can bring your company's reputation downhill. Developers should be attentive while making an app and contain tools to catch as well as address security vulnerabilities. Designers should ensure that their applications are robust enough to prevent any tampering and reverse engineering attacks. Encrypting the source code can be an excellent method to protect your application from these attacks as it provides unreadable.

Penetration Tests - Conduct a Thorough QA & Security Check

It has been an always good practice to test your application against randomly developed security scenarios before every deployment. Particularly, pen testing can bypass security risks and vulnerabilities against your mobile apps. Detecting loopholes in the system is a complete need. Since these loopholes could rise to become possible threats that give access to mobile data and features.

Secure the Data-in-transit

The sensitive data that is transmitted from the customer to the server needs to be protected against privacy leaks and information theft. It is highly recommended to use either an SSL or VPN tunnel, which ensures that user information is protected with strict security measures.

File-Level & Database Encryption - Complete Provisions for Data Security

When it reaches to accessing confidential data, the mobile apps are designed in a way that the unstructured information is stored in the local file system and/or database within the device storage. However, the data in the sandbox are not encrypted; hence, there is a major loophole for potential vulnerabilities.

To ensure safety in the sandbox environment, you should execute mobile app data encryption using SQLite Database Encryption Modules or practice file-level encryption across multiple platforms.

Use the Latest Cryptography Techniques

Even the most famous cryptography algorithms like MD5 and SHA1 often become inadequate to meet the ever-increasing security needs. Therefore, it is vital to stay updated with the most delinquent security algorithm, and whenever possible, use modern encryption techniques like AES with 512-bit encryption, 256-bit encryption & SHA-256 for hashing. In addition, you should complete manual penetration testing and threat modeling on your applications before it goes live to provide foolproof security.

High-level Authentication

The absence of high-level authentication guides to security breaches. Developers should create the apps in such a way that it only takes strong alphanumeric passwords. On top of that, it is better to make it required for the users to switch their passwords periodically. For extremely sensitive apps, you can strengthen the protection with biometric authentication using fingerprints or retina scans. Encouraging the users to provide authentication would be the recommended way to bypass security breaches.

Secure the Backend

The prevalence of mobile applications has a client-server mechanism. It is important to have security standards in place to safeguard against negative attacks on backend servers. Most designers assume that only the app that has been programmed to access APIs can access it. However, you should verify all your APIs by the mobile platform you aim to code for because API authentication and transport mechanisms can vary from one platform to another. Write a Secure Code.

Bugs and vulnerabilities in a code are the starting matter most attackers use to break into an application. They will attempt to reverse engineer your code and fiddle with it, and all they require is a public copy of your app for it. The study indicates that malicious code is affecting over 11.6 million mobile appliances at any given time.

Keep the safety of your code in mind from day one and harden your code, making it difficult to break through. Obfuscate and minify your regulation so it cannot be reverse-engineered. Test frequently and fix bugs as and when they are revealed. Design your regulation so it is easy to update and patch. Make sure you maintain your code agile so it can be updated at the user end post a breach. Use code hardening and code signing.

Minimize Storage of Sensitive Data

To safeguard sensitive data from the users, developers choose to store the data in the device's local memory. However, it is best practice to sidestep storing sensitive data as it might raise the security threat. If you have no other choice other than storing the data, better use encrypted data containers or key chains. Additionally, make sure to minimize the log by adding the auto-delete feature, which automatically deletes data after a particular time.

EndNote

Secure mobile applications are typically a crucial concern that can have a big effect on the decision between acceptance and abandonment of the application.

The hackers can operate any system including utilizing your microphone, camera, or even location to have access to your confidential data.

So guys, if you are managing the security aspect of your mobile application, it is time to be alert and follow the best development practices ensuring better application security.

Connect PerfectionGeeks Technologies if you need help or you can hire an android application developer. We have an outstanding team capable of assuring the development of secure mobile applications with all the advanced elements incorporated.

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