With regards to mobile application development, application security remains the topmost concern for most of the developers as it can harm the business’ image and also waste their development effort. In today’s most advancing world full with hackers, Data leakage, Spyware, and Network Spoofing are common application security threats. There are various modern mobile application testing tools effectively available online or in the market today, but still over 85% of mobile applications still violate mobile app security standards. You should make careful attempts to tighten the security of your mobile application as it is viewed as one of the key factors that decide the success or failure of your application. To help you, here we have listed some best practices that you can just follow to enhance your mobile app’s data security. Before that, know the most frequent security issues with mobile apps.
You can also know- Top 10 mobile app security tools to use in 2020.
Most Frequent Security Issues With Mobile Apps-
The most widely recognized cyber-security concerns in the modern era include data theft or unintentional release of sensitive data, faulty encryption strategies, substandard or absent offline authorization, and defective session handling. Let us discuss each issue and its cause.
1. Unintentional Release of Sensitive Data-
Coincidental leakage of sensitive data happens when it is stored in insecure and unsafe locations on a mobile phone. This unprotected data can be picked by the different applications on the device and used in a manner that the user didn’t intend for.
2. Faulty Encryption Techniques-
When you consider encrypted data, you imagine it is safe and protected. But, this isn’t generally the situation and encryption can sometimes fail to keep significant data secure. The process of encrypting data includes making a ‘key’ through which the data can be translated to its decrypted form. The concept behind encryption is that this ‘key’ is just made accessible to authorized users. But, when this ‘key’ is stored in an insecure location on the device, it tends to be easily accessed by hackers. This is the point at which your encryption strategies fail to protect you.
3. Substandard or Absent Offline Authorization-
When you are using a mobile application, it is understood that you are not constantly connected with the internet. At these offline times, these applications can’t differentiate between various users. When an application lacks offline authorization or has a poor version of it, unapproved users may access sensitive parts of the application offline. These hackers can even go so far as to utilize the application in a manner that only administrators can.
4. Defective Session Handling-
Defective session handling is a genuine issue with mobile applications. This turns out to be much a greater issue if your smartphone is lost or stolen. If your application fails to end a past session when you have started another one, the unauthorized person with access to your lost phone can operate the application a similar way that you can. They can reach sensitive data, copy it, alter it, or make it public. In short, this makes you vulnerable against a lot of issues.
Best Practices App Developers Should Follow to Enhance Mobile App’s Data Security-
1. Spare Significant Resources for Security-
When developers are designing mobile applications, they need to prove to be the best of their competitors concerning the facilities offered. To progress towards excellence, they cut corners to be able to focus more on the performance of the application. Most of the time, these application developers may commit the mistake of not allocating enough resources for security. In this case, their application is able to perform better than any other at what it is meant for, it will compromise more on keeping the user’s data secure. An application like this isn’t one that will be the most popular with the users. Hence, it is essential to ensure you have put aside enough funds and resources to ensure security.
2. Write a Secure, Hack-proof Code-
Mobile hackers frequently target the source code of an application to get unauthorized access to relevant data. Not encrypting your source code when developing an application for smartphones is basically making their work simpler. Recent reports recommend that malicious code infects more than 12 million mobile phones at any given time. Hence, it is essential to hide your unique code through encryption – protecting the data on the application from unintended use.
3. Take Constraints into Consideration-
When an application developer is designing a mobile application, he is generally focusing on users with a variety of operating systems. Each operating system being used by your intended interest group will have its constraints and limitations. When writing code for your application, you should consider all of these limitations and come up with a design that takes into account the vast majority of the target population – without compromising their security.
4. Emphasize on Securing Data from the Back End-
Commonly, you will need different mobile applications to communicate with one another. This is accomplished by an application programming interface or an API. These APIs are a fundamental bit of backend development but are vulnerable against data loss. Hence, it is necessary to have quality safety measures on these and keep them in check. An API key restricts unauthorized applications from information or makes changes on the platforms you are working on. Besides, the use of API gateways makes the interaction between multiple applications considerably more secure.
5. Improve Your Authentication Methods-
Weak authentication techniques can be a noteworthy concern with regards to data security. To ensure the most extreme soundness and protection of the data on the user’s phone, it is essential to implement the high-level authentication strategies. This can effectively be done by designing your application so that it encourages the user to use stronger passwords. An application that will just accept a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, is more secure than one that lets the users pick random words for passwords. Also, you can enhance your authentication techniques by requiring the user to log in through email or text after they have put in the password. In spite of the fact that this dual-factor authentication can sometimes become an issue for the user, it is worth it, if the nature of the information stored on the app and the phone is sensitive enough.
6. Implement Proper Session Handling-
Did you know that sessions on mobile apps ordinarily last longer than the desktop devices? So appropriate session management ends up being a significant perspective of mobile application security. You should also provide users with the facility to remotely log-off their accounts and remove all data in devices, particularly in case of lost and stolen devices. Instead of using identifiers to validate a session, you can use tokens and increase your mobile application security.
7. Utilize the Latest Cryptography Tools and Techniques-
You should consistently follow Proper Key Management security practices when it is related with encrypting your mobile application’s data. Neither hard code your encryption keys nor attempt to store keys on any local devices as it is considered as a preventive mobile application safety measures. State-of-the-art encryption protocols like SHA-256 and 256-bit AES for hashing are always favored over cryptographic protocols, for example, SHA1 and MD5.
Also know- Best Tips to improve your mobile app performance.
There is a consistent demand for new and better applications by mobile phone users – regardless of the number of similar applications that are already available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The continuous growth of the mobile application industry has consequently increased the amount and intensity of security issues related with these applications. Thus, while designing a new application, developers must be lookout from the get-go for any potential vulnerabilities in their design. Considering the above tips and tricks while developing an application, can end up being advantageous while considering the security of the significant data on your phone.
If you are still confused about the security of mobile apps, consult with solace experts. We have a team of experts to help you with the security of mobile app. Get a free quote for secured mobile apps development to enhance your business. We will be happy to help you.