Best practices to enhance Mobile App security

Best Practices App Developers Should Follow To Enhance Mobile App Security

Mobile hackers have infiltrated our phones and we are barely aware of it. How often do we face some software issue on our phone and upon repair we are told that it’s a virus? Mobile apps today are the one-stop-shop for all your confidential data. Some apps handle your banking activities, some apps are notes where you save all your passwords and more.

A study by InterTrust declared that the cost of breaches that occur in mobile app security issues could be as high as $1.5 billion by 2021.

What are you doing to ensure the app you developed isn’t adding on to this figure?

As a mobile app developer, you need to value your customer and system enough to have added levels of security. McAfee in a recent report mentioned how Google Android is the most targeted by hackers. Creating systems, codes, backups and troubleshooting systems are essential for improving the security of your app.

Here are 5 ways in which mobile app developers can amp up mobile app security:

Improve Encryption

Data Encryption

As the word itself suggests, your data is encrypted to increase your mobile app security. How this works is by scrambling all the data that is being logged on your app.

This includes all the information about your user, their activity and more. All of this data is then saved up in your system in a scrambled or illegible format. Thus, even if your data is stolen or an attempted hacking occurs, the information in the data is gibberish to the hacker.

The only way this data can make sense is if authorized personnel access this data. Recently, the popular messaging app WhatsApp also ‘end to end’ encrypted their chats. This was a huge step to promote security and thus goes on to increase its brand credibility with its users.

Beware of Libraries

Libraries are used by many mobile app developers to accelerate code building. While it is not uncommon for app developers to use the code library, being cautious about it is very important.

Some of these libraries may not be as secure as the rest. There have been instances when hackers have remotely accessed the system and caused major glitches in the system. This puts the entire app in jeopardy.

The safest way to use these libraries is to have internal repository systems that are well controlled. Another way is to have a full-proof acquisition policy in place that will help secure your app from malicious threats.

Strong Authentication Barriers

authentication- Volumetree

Just like how most payment apps and banking apps have multi-level identification and security check post, is important to have authentication barriers in your app. Authentication is the basic information, passwords and other confidential information of your users that can be used to access the system.

As a mobile app developer, it becomes important to use multi-level and diverse authentication systems to promote security systems.

Authentication systems such as alphanumeric system check or image check can be done to ensure security. Urging users to change their passwords periodically can be done to ensure further verification. Ensuring that the passwords are strong and safe can be one added step to improve your app systems.

Tamper Detection System

Temper Detection system- Volumetree

This one is priceless when used proactively. This system alerts the app developer when someone attempts trying to tamper with your code. This system also goes into an alert mode when the hacker attempts to insert a defective code into your coding structure

Code Strongly and Securely

This one is a basic step and yet very effective. Code well! This implies coding your base structure needs to be full-proof enough to not let the hackers get through.

A few of the tips would be to reduce your code so that they cannot reverse engineer it. Alternatively, harden your code from the get-go so that it is seamless to get through. You could use code signing and code hardening to make the hacking impenetrable.

Code- Test- Recode

Simple yet effective. Threats are ubiquitous. Threats can never be completely sidelined, thus testing is the oldest trick in the book to smoothen out threats.

Several systems can be used to test out your app, these include threat modeling, penetration testing, and emulators that are constantly testing your app for weak spots.

Have updates in place that are consistently patching these issues. Having an app that is coded in a way that is easier to update makes life simpler for everyone. 

Cybersecurity is a real threat and one that is witnessing a dizzying rise. A report suggested that the lifestyle category witnessed almost 27% of malicious apps. 

This was then followed by industries such as music and audio. The threat is real and safeguarding your app is the simplest way to safeguard your user. It reflects your credibility as an app developer.

It all comes down to identifying the threat preemptively, proactively and consistently intending to stay on top of the mobile app security issues. Security is no longer a ‘nice to have’ feature. Security is, in fact, a ‘must-have’ feature.

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