7 Key Steps Developers Must Take for Improving Mobile Application Security

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Mobile devices are everywhere around us, and it can be our smartphone, tablet, wearable device and so. They are one of the best and digital devices for us and can be termed as our friend as well. We can book a cab, order food, converse with anyone across the globe, track our fitness, control our home devices, shop, and can also tend to our professional work and commitment right from our device.

And all these capabilities are enabled by mobile applications. While the convenience and functionality of mobile apps are really exciting and interesting, the threat of security to our digital presence is always present. Hacking mobile apps, hackers can get access to our private data and confidential information and this does shed a concern over the mobile apps’ usage.

How Mobile Apps Can Be Targeted by Hackers and Criminals?

  • They can use malware, viruses, Trojan horse and other such programs to inoculate into apps and gain access to important data and financial details.
  • Use a fake or spoof app to deceit the user into providing them access to the device..
  • They can access network IP to enter into the business’ digital infrastructure when you using your device over a Wi-Fi or company network.
  • They can interrupt private information over the airwaves.
  • Identity theft is one of the biggest threats pertaining to mobile security concerns.

Why Mobile App Security is Important?

As detailed above, there are a wide ways through which mobile apps can be compromised and to secure data and information, it is important to understand the vulnerabilities in mobile app systems and take steps to secure that against the possible dangers and threats.

How to Secure Your Mobile App Against Security Threats? If you are a business owner having an enterprise mobile app or a developer, then reading the above section would have got you apprehensive about how to secure your mobile application. Below we list down some key steps on how to secure your mobile app against any potential risk and threats:

  1. Create Robust Code From the Ground-Up

Usually with a native app, it is that the code exists on the mobile device, increasing the risk and vulnerabilities. Therefore, when creating the app, it is necessary to implement secured steps right from when you start writing the code. Use API encryption and advanced algorithms to protect the app codes, scan code source for checking the vulnerabilities, create codes that are agile and can be transported between devices and operating systems.

  • Protect the Back-End Network

Make sure that the servers are highly protected and fully secured against unauthorised access. Implement network penetration testing for assessing vulnerability of the network, along with making use of database encryption and ensuring encrypted connections. Create encrypted containers using containerization method, and utilise ‘Federation’ measure that spreads resources out across different servers.

  • Your Mobile Encryption Strategy Must be Robust

Data that is stored on a mobile app locally, like location, age, usage behavior, and financial information and such are at risk of being compromised through ‘attacked’ apps. This is where you need to implement strong mobile encryption steps, such as using file-level encryption to protect data, encrypted SQLite module from Appcelerator platform, take steps for robust key management in practice, along with ensuring that sensitive data isn’t stored directly on the device, and if so then storage is fully encrypted.

  • Identification, Authentication & Authorization – For API Security and System Protection

APIs are central to how your data is protected and how secure the mobile app functions and performs. Therefore, create a well-developed API system with identification, authentication and authorization in place to ensure protective data flow between users, applications and cloud.

Just like wit API, you should ensure that all the three verticals – identification, authentication and authorization are implemented and taken care of robustly for your app system to improve functionality and minimize vulnerability. You can make use of tokens like OAuth2, JSON, and protocols like OpenID Connect.

  • Test The App Program

Just like a software, an app development process also involves a crucial step – code testing. You should make sure that you test your app thoroughly for functionality, usability, authentication and authorization, session management, system and network weaknesses, and data security issues.

  • Issue a Guideline to Users – Implement Safe Device Use Steps

As important security concerns needs to be handled at the developmental phase, so does at the usage stage by the users. Tell them to not use a rooted or jailbroken device which could compromise with the in-built security processes, and always issue a guideline to them to download the apps from a trusted and authorized app store.

  • Enterprises Must Implement Safety Steps for BYOD Policy

If you follow BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, then there must be security and protection steps in place to ensure full safety of user data, network and devices pertaining to mobile application use. It is highly helpful for the company to invest in mobile device management systems that enhances the overall security aspects. Make sure that unauthorized devices are blocked, install antivirus and firewall in the authorized devices, ensure there is VPN for creating secured connections over a network, and ensure that apps making unauthorized transactions are blocked from doing so by making devices risk-aware, as well as have a practice in place where if any device is lost or stolen, then its data can be wiped clean remotely.

With the advancement in mobile app development technology, the risk factor also increases. Following the above-mentioned measures and steps, developers and users can ensure strong safety and security strategy.

Alekh Verma

Alekh Verma is the Founder and CEO of eSearch Logix Technologies, a leading SEO Company in India based at Noida (Delhi/NCR). A leading Online Marketing expert and strategist, Alekh helps businesses to improve their Online presence by help of Search Engines and other Digital Sources like Paid Advertising and Affiliate Marketing.
Alekh Verma