Mobile applications are crucial today for businesses and personal use. Each year, the number of mobile apps developed is increasing – with the increasing number of users, businesses are eager to seize the opportunity to meet their clients in a way that is familiar to them.
However, as mobile applications increase, it gives more chances to hackers to penetrate thousands of devices – mobile apps have become their gateway to steal consumer data.
Businesses also use mobile apps in the workplace, therefore, it is necessary to take careful consideration and implement policies for protection. Furthermore, if a business is in the process of developing their own app, they have to make sure that it is secured from hackers.
Why Mobile Application Security Matters?
Most consumers don’t think about mobile app security. They just download apps they find interesting, and it doesn’t seem to matter to them if it’s within any App Store or from a third-party source.
This action can put the consumer and even businesses at risk. There are plenty of mobile apps that are unsafe to install, even if they are available in the app store. That is why you need to know the difference between a malicious app and a safe one.
With this in mind, it is crucial that businesses should think of mobile app security for themselves and their consumers. For this to be achieved, they need to hire a mobile app developer that is knowledgeable in cybersecurity.
Not all developers are equal in knowledge and skills, therefore, it is vital to find someone who can create an application that is functional, convenient, and secure. Furthermore, company security practices also strengthen data protection from a mobile app.
How to Secure Your Mobile App in 2022
The presence of malware on a mobile device can be a threat to mobile apps with weak coding. Vulnerability as such can be exploited by hackers. Once an attacker has a copy of the application’s code, they can reverse engineer it, repack, and post it for consumers to install on their devices.
Therefore, it is vital for developers to write secure codes, detect any vulnerabilities on the app, and strengthen it to avoid reverse engineering.
Enforce Strong Password and Authentication
When your company’s mobile application requires consumers to create an account, don’t hesitate to enforce a strict password creation and implementation of authentication.
Developers can create apps that will require consumers to create a password with a combination of upper and lower cases, numbers, and symbols. Insisting that your consumers create strong passwords for their accounts will keep them secure, especially since consumers don’t think about the susceptibility of weak passwords.
Another way to secure your mobile app from hackers is to implement multi-factor authentication. You can give your users the option to activate the multi-factor feature after they have created their accounts.
Educate them on how they can use this feature and explain they can receive a code via email or text, or use biometric features.
The combination of a strong password and multi-factor authentication can prevent brute force attacks or password guessing by hackers.
It is also vital to implement a policy that your employees must use a strong password and activate authentication for better security.
Design According to Platform
Mobile apps created are specific to a certain operating system.
It is best that the developer is knowledgeable on multiple mobile OS to create applications that can work for them.
In addition, apps on different platforms must have secure codes that depend on the limitations and possibilities of the OS.
Several people use a variety of applications across devices and operating systems. As a result, you must guarantee that the data shared through your application is not exposed as a result of a vulnerability in any OS or device.
If you want to ensure this, you have to encrypt the data across the application. You can either choose a symmetric or asymmetric encryption method when managing mobile app data.
Secure the data in both ways, in-transit or stored.
You can also give your users the option to clear the cache on your app, so they don’t have to store information that can be a source of vulnerability.
Make Reverse Engineering Difficult
Reverse engineering is a way hackers get to know an app and alter the coding for hacking purposes. Hackers will detect bugs and then insert their code and affect the normal function of your app. They can use bugs that can redirect the data to their server and more.
Developers can use coding languages that are more resistant to reverse engineering such as C++. Decompiling Java code is much easier than decompiling C/C++ code. As a result, some developers use the NDK to write critical pieces of their code. They also include those files in a built library.
Although C++ code can be broken into assembly language code, reverse engineering in such a large library can be time-consuming.
Secure API and the Backend
APIs are necessary for the integration of third-party services as well as the improvement of functionality. It allows systems to communicate with one another and exchange data.
Using a secure API is a must for better app security.
In addition, to protect against malicious assaults, backend servers should have security measures in place. As a result, make sure all APIs are verified for the mobile platform you’re planning to code for, as transport protocols and API authentication can vary.
Permit Less Storage of Sensitive Data
If at all feasible, make sure that confidential user data is never stored on the device or on your servers. This is because holding user data unnecessarily raises your risk levels.
Finally, reduce your reliance on logs by ensuring that they are automatically removed after a predetermined period.
Use the Most Up-to-Date Encryption Technology
It’s critical that you stay up to date on the latest security algorithm technology, and that you use modern encryption methods like AES with 256-bit encryption and SHA-256 for hashing wherever possible.
For foolproof security, you should also undertake manual penetration testing and threat modeling on your app before it goes live.
Security Check Before Launching
Do not hesitate to run a test on your mobile applications before deployment. You can use randomly generated scenarios to check on your app.
There are companies that even hire a hacker to see how their application functions and test its security. In this way, you will be able to find security issues immediately and fix them before sending them out to consumers.
Activate Alert System
You can use a specific alert system to notify if there are changes in the application source code.
Also, you can add a feature on your mobile app that allows the users to get notifications when someone tries to sign into their account. It can include details like location, the device used, and more.
It is crucial that you test your app constantly to check for vulnerabilities.
After checking for vulnerabilities, ask your developers to resolve issues within the app so that users can get updates from your app that patches security holes and bugs.
Such a method will ensure your app is secured and that your users remain engaged because they feel safe to use your app.
When developing an app for your business, it is not only about the aesthetic, functionality, and convenience of the app that matters.
Businesses should always keep in mind the importance of security.
A secure mobile app can protect businesses from future data breaches that can result in data loss, additional expense, and reputational damage.
Vanessa Venugopal is an experienced content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.