Mobile App Security: The Need of the Hour

by Lalithaa

Mobile App Security: The Need of the Hour

There is an exponential increase in the use of mobile applications, especially during the pandemic. From buying commodities to paying bills and banking, the use of applications is increasing day by day. Various platforms such as Google Play Store, Apple Play store etc. are available from where these applications can be downloaded and used for various purposes. Even global organizations have incorporated the use of mobile apps in their work to remain connected with their workforce and to make their work easier. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that from a three-year-old kid to his grandfather, everyone is using some App or the other, making it all the more important to ensure mobile app security.

Why do we need Mobile Application security?

People need to be sensitized about securing the apps that they are using every so often as according to a recent study a large number of paid apps have been hacked to date. The numbers are continuously rising at an alarming rate. Most of the organizations ask their employees to use their phones for official work as well. This may pose a threat to the confidentiality of the data stored in these apps unless the company secures the data. If malicious malware infects your phone, it may lead to unauthorized access to the user data leading to major revenue losses. Your data is also at risk here.

How can you secure the Applications?

Mobile App developers are looking for ways to secure their App before introducing it in the market. Here are some tips to secure the mobile apps to provide a better user experience to the end customer.

  • Source Code – This is the most vulnerable feature of any application and thus a soft target for hackers. Try to develop a high-quality security code so that the chances of a breach in security are reduced. Always write the source code yourself to maintain quality and secrecy.
  • Encrypt Data – Encryption converts your data into a secret code that can be read by the authorized person only. It contains an algorithm that needs to be decrypted to make it readable. This is a highly effective method of securing your apps.
  • Use Authorized API’s – Using authorized API’s in App code strengthens the security of the app and keeps hackers at bay. It is advisable to have a central authority for the API to ensure the maximum security of the app.
  • Secure Data in transit – The mobile apps use cloud servers and API’s for data transit and this is where maximum data processing happens. The developers should use support for SSL or VPN tunnels to protect sensitive information being interchanged between the client and the backend servers. Keep checking the network regularly to assess vulnerabilities. This is necessary to avoid data theft and leaks.
  • Minimize Data storage – Avoid storing sensitive and confidential data as much as possible to reduce the risk of leakage. In case, you have to store data and there is no other option, use key chains while using cookies for stored passwords. Make provisions so that the logs are automatically deleted after a specific period.
  • Perform a random security check – Once you are ready to deploy your app, conduct random tests in different scenarios. You can even consider employing a hacker to get through your app. This is an effective method of knowing whether any loopholes need to be addressed. Besides securing the code, remember to secure the servers that your app accesses. Make sure that the people who have access to the server are also trustworthy.
  • Hackathons – Big companies like Microsoft and Google hold Hackathons where hackers compete with each other to identify security issues within the App. They are awarded handsome rewards and the companies can take corrective measures if required.
  • Prevent Unintended Data Theft – While using the app, users agree on certain permissions that allow businesses to gain access to the customers’ personal information. Use secure analytics providers to ensure the safety of the data and prevent unintentional leaks.
  • Third-party Libraries – Sometimes developers use third-party libraries while building the code. It is not advisable to rely on these libraries because most of these third-party libraries are not secure and may do more harm than good. If you still need to use them, test their code and remove flaws before using them.
  • Use High-level Authentication mechanism – User authentication form is a very important part of the security mechanism. Mobile apps having a weak authentication mechanism are susceptible to malicious threats. Always use a strong password to keep your mobile app safe.
  • Mobile Device Management Software – Use mobile management software to enhance app security. Use VPN to build a secure link that will protect the app in an insecure network. The device should also be secured with a firewall and anti-virus to secure it from malicious hackers.
  • Platform-sensitive Limitations – every platform has its limitations that should be kept in mind while developing an app. For example, if you are developing an app for the Android platform –, keep in mind the limitations such as the passwords, geo-tagging and encryption that this platform deals with.
  • Prioritise security issues – Last but not least, due importance should be given to the security of the app while it is in the planning phase. These security issues should be dealt with on a priority basis during the development process so that the end customer has a seamless experience while using the App. A small error in your code can prove to be an open invitation for hackers. So, write an encrypted code that has been carefully tested for vulnerabilities.

Appsealing is a cloud-based mobile security solution that is widely being used by developers to safeguard their Apps. This effectively protects your mobile application from hackers. If you have still not given any serious thought to your mobile app security, it is high time you do something about it as it is a very important and critical issue that deserves immediate attention.

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