Do you want to beat the market’s competition? When that’s the case, app security falls to the wayside. You should know about mobile app security before you knock yourself out. Enterprises and software developers must take the responsibility of securing mobile apps. 

Bootstrappers and major brands are developing more applications using new technologies and innovations. Digitalization has led business leaders to become more concerned with mobile app security. So what can you do to keep your app from becoming vulnerable to attack? This article discusses mobile app security threats and best practices.

What is Mobile Application Security?

A mobile app security strategy enforces security practices to prevent malware and hackers. Security on mobile devices has become a necessity today. Before publishing any app online, you must adhere to a security checklist. Hackers might also access personal information, banking information, and other details.

The Real Stats on Mobile App Security

Global pandemics have made security concerns an everyday challenge for businesses. A recent study found that most companies do not protect their data and implement poor cybersecurity practices, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches.

The following surprising statistics illustrate why businesses need to guarantee mobile app security.

  • The world’s 5.19 million smartphone users spend 90 percent of their time using apps. Organizations depend on the economy for their revenue, which drives their operations. However, many organizations don’t take adequate security measures.
  • In 2020, remote access became more common after an unprecedented year for IT and security. Two-thirds of companies have 1,000 or more publicly accessible sensitive files. An employee of a financial services company has access to more than 11 million documents.
  • Almost half of the organizations in 2019 sacrificed mobile security. The priority for market time over security caused their apps to become vulnerable.
  • Consequently, the FBI warned consumers about mobile app fraud. Since the lockdown on Coronavirus, mobile banking has boomed. There is a 50% increase in trojan horses, fake apps, and other financial weaknesses in apps.
  • Market researchers predict that the global information security market will reach $170.4 billion in 2022.
  • Businesses consider cybersecurity as a growing risk due to current developments. 68% of security risks are skyrocketing with the advancement of technology.

Statistics show that implementing the wrong technologies can result in severe business losses. Thus, you first need to figure out how to secure your mobile app before hiring an app development team.

Tips For Securing Mobile Applications

Bringing your device (BYOD) has become a major security concern for mobile apps. Workers merge personal and professional interests on their devices. The following eight tips will help you develop a hacker-proof mobile app:

1. The Encryption Of Source Code

In native mobile apps, most of the code part resides on the client-side. As a result, mobile malware can find vulnerabilities and bugs in code. Hackers compromise renowned apps by reverse-engineering them into rogue versions of apps. Subsequently, these apps are uploaded to third-party app stores to entice unsuspecting users.

This kind of threat can destroy your organization’s reputation. When creating an app, developers should pay special attention to security vulnerabilities. Ensure your mobile application security is against reverse engineering, tampering, and eavesdropping attacks. Encrypting your code will prevent such attacks, ensuring the data remains protected.

2. Penetration Testing

Testing from the hacker’s perspective is an effective method for finding vulnerabilities. Now you can identify the potential weakness that the attacker could exploit. 

Penetration testing includes:

  • Policy checking for passwords
  • Non-encrypted data
  • Access permissions to third-party applications
  • No expiry date for passwords.

Perform regular penetration tests to ensure no loophole exists for hackers to exploit. Therefore, loopholes may turn into vulnerabilities allowing access to services and data.

3. Authentication At A High Level

Security breaches result from the absence of strong authentication. Developers should design apps that only accept alphanumeric passwords. Further, users must change their passwords regularly. Fingerprint or biometric authentication can help you protect sensitive apps.  Encouraging users to authenticate is the best way to avoid security breaches.

4. Protect Data In Transit

Secure transmission of sensitive information is crucial for preventing security breaches. A VPN or SSL tunnel is a highly recommended solution. Tighter security measures are put in place to protect user data.

5. Backend security

Most mobile applications utilize client-server technology. A secure backend is vital in preventing malicious attacks. Developers believe that the APIs are typically only available to apps designed specifically to use them. However, you must run API verification on every API for the platform you intend to program. Authentication and transport mechanisms may differ between platforms.

6. Reduce Sensitive Data Storage

To protect sensitive information from users, developers store it in the device’s memory. However, storing sensitive data is not recommended due to security concerns. Use encrypted data containers or key chains if you cannot store the data any other way. Lastly, use the auto-delete feature to minimize the log. It will delete the log after a predetermined period.

The risk of malicious behavior drives developers’ concern over mobile app security.  Thus, users are hesitant to install unreliable apps. Hopefully, the above best practices will assist you in developing secure mobile applications.

7. Make Use Of The Most Advanced Cryptographic Techniques.

Despite their popularity, MD5 and SHA1 fail to meet current security requirements. Staying up to date on the latest encryption methods is the key to ensuring security. Encrypt sensitive data using AES with 512-bit encryption, 256-bit encryption, and SHA256 hashing. Make sure your application is secure by performing manual penetration and threat modeling.

8. Encrypt Your Database And Files

Unstructured data is stored locally to ensure the confidentiality of mobile application data. However, the data in the sandbox is not encrypted appropriately. It results in a major security loophole.  Use SQLite Database Encryption Modules to encrypt mobile app data in the sandbox environment. Otherwise, you can implement file-level encryption between multiple platforms.

A Final Thought

In recent years, mobile application security has become more of a concern. Compromises in application security can be disastrous for both users and application developers. There are several measures designed to provide secure application development. Training the development team insecurity is one of the most useful techniques. Effective team communication and penetration testing will move the development process to the next phases. 

FAQs

  1. What Is The Best Way To Create A Secure App?
  • Ensure your application is secure. 
  • Maintain proper logs. 
  • Monitor and protect your application in real-time. 
  • Use encryption. 
  • Keep everything secure.
  • Update your servers regularly. 
  • Install updates regularly. 
  • Learn the latest security vulnerabilities
  1. What Kind Of Security Issues Do Mobile Applications Face?

The following are security issues with mobile applications:

  1. Weak Server Side Controls
  2. Inadequate Binary Protections
  3. Unsecured Data Storage
  4. Lack of Transport Layer Protection
  5. Leakage of unintended data
  6. Inadequate authorization and authentication
  7. Insufficient encryption
  8. Script injection on client-side
  9. Untrusted inputs affect security decisions
  10. Improper handling of sessions