Tips to Increase Mobile App Security
By Tarun Nagar
Security is the biggest concern today. The recent research from Arxan revealed that out of the top 100 popular apps on Google android platform, 56 percent of the apps are hacked or prone to be hacked easily. Among the general reasons for being vulnerable to attacks, the most visible reason is the use of the same Smartphone for professional and personal use. This affects the security of the app and weakens the security measures of the enterprise system.
Another statistic reveals that 93 percent of the apps contain some level of security concerns. Hackers to steal the data often misuse these security flaws. According to the study of High Tech Bridge, more than two-thirds of the top companies listed on Financial Times 500 present on dark web owing to access control measure and weak authentication. Such stats emphasize the need of security amplification of mobile apps.
Although, the security verily starts at the coding level. However, the increase in the race of fuelling the features, the security is often compromised. To save mobile apps from being attacked, the mobile application development company uses the structured approach. The fragile development or coding approach cannot ensure the security, therefore it is recommended to keep security in mind at the development time.
A Brief about Mobile App Security
The common issues of mobile app security are improper session handling, unintended leakage of data, broken cryptography, and poor level authentication. Data leakage is the general reason for data being misused. This happens because of the data stored in an unsafe place. Other apps accessing data makes data security vulnerable, this is the core concern for the developers and can be solved at the coding level with authentication. Hire app developer to maintain the security at the coding level.
Session Handling: Another issue is the poor session handling. This issue arises when the optimum user experience is the highest priority and the session is left open for longer. This undoubtedly reduces the delay but negatively impacts security.
Compromise with Security: Mobile application Development Company generally makes the app for a particular purpose. For instance, food ordering apps are built. A user never gives a second thought before using the mobile app for paying online. Performing online transactions is the most common mistake app users make.
Fear for Enterprises: The fear is more alarming when most of the businesses are working over the BYOD concept. This risks device security because of the parallel use of the device in personal and professional interests. Around 84 percent of the consumers in the USA utilize the device for both professional and personal use. This poses challenges against the IT department to secure the app and regulate access. Taking care of a few security measures can address the challenges.
How to Curb the Issues at Development Time?
Here are a few highlights of security measures, which need to be followed up at the development time by both android and custom iOS app development:
Initial Phase: Risk analysis is necessary.
Definition Phase: Identification of Threat.
Design: Design security issues
Developmental Phase: Code inspection
Deployment Phase: Risk Resolution
The use of the right set of strategy saves the app from external threats. Here are a few tip and strategies to secure a mobile app:
Platform-specific limitation: While developing the app for multiple platforms, it is always advisable to understand the limitation of each platform. The coding accordingly helps in nullifying the possibilities of attacks.
Data security: When the mobile app accesses the confidential data, the unstructured information is stored into the device storage. Mobile data encryption is used to keep the data safe. This can be done using file-level encryption or SQLite Database Encryption Modules. Hire app developer to understand the fundamental of code security.
MAM and MDM integration
MDM and MAM integration are used to reduce device threats and ensure security. The organization uses MDM and MAM to create the app store for securing the mobile apps within multiple layers, regulating the distribution and remotely wipe the app data.
Use only Authorized APIs: APIs are the application program interface, which is used to communicate with other apps or external libraries. The APIs are vulnerable to the attacks, which poses a greater risk for apps. To avoid such risk, the developer must use the authorized APIs in code. This can be done using the API gateway, adding the firewall, conducting code reviews, and sharing bilateral API keys before communication. Alongside, the use of two-factor authentication is advisable before allowing data to share things.
Network Security: When mobile app security is discussed, network security cannot be ignored. For securing the network, the developer uses the containerization. This involves the app bundling with the dependencies and config files to run in a seamless manner in a different computing environment. The encrypted container such as Kubernetes and Docker store the data and document securely. Alongside to check the safety of cloud servers, the API must be secured.
Most of the cloud servers are compromised for the security and therefore it is recommendable to hire the penetration tester to check the app for vulnerabilities.
Encrypt the Data: The additional layer of security can be added through the SSL, TLS and VPNs. The advanced encryption method uses the federation method, which distributes the resources across several servers and hides the main resources from the user. Custom iOS app development is rich in this term.
Local Data Encryption: The local data encryption is necessary because it is the most vulnerable data. The current Android OS versions take care for the encryption of local data. In earlier versions, WhisperCore was used for the same purpose. Ciphered local storage plug-in is used for local database security, while at rest data is encrypted using file-level encryption.
Note: The developers must design the app which does not necessitate the saving of sensitive data on the device. The credit card and transaction details must be saved in encrypted form, even for the iOS app development services too.
Code Obfuscation: Code obfuscation is used for creating the source or machine code, which becomes harder to decipher. The obfuscation tools such as DashO, Sirius, and TotalCode are the commonly known tools for the same.
Although security is the biggest concern, still it is compromised generally for several reasons. Losing the sensitive data can cost the user a lot and the android app development companies must pay huge attention towards this. Above are the general tips for ensuring the app security at the coding level. The apps made to transact the information are more likely to leak the data to an unreliable resource. This leaves you prone to several cyber-attacks and can lead to more hazardous outcomes such as financial losses.