Mobile apps are now essentials for billions of people for completing daily activities such as keeping up with health routines, purchasing items, making payments, and much more. Most apps require sensitive and private information, which often becomes a target for hackers. Therefore ensuring security measures and strategies are essential for protecting your users and enhancing trustful relations.
Below find insights on what may cause security threats for your mobile app and what you can do to prevent them.
Improper Platform Usage
According to The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), one of the most common security threats is improper platform usage. It is essential to consider that both Android and iOS operating systems have specific regulations and guidelines for ensuring security measures. Often developers unintentionally violate these rules, which later cause serious security risks.
For instance, security errors and misuse of the iOS Touch ID feature may cause illegal access to the device. Another cause of security violations is the misuse of the iOS Keychain, designed to keep passwords and other types of sensitive data. In order to avoid the abovementioned security threats, it is essential to thoroughly analyze and follow the guidelines for each operating system. Moreover, it is also crucial to use secure coding strategies and apply correct server-side configuration settings.
Neglecting Multifactor Authentication
Another critical security threat occurs when users of an application use the same insecure password for multiple accounts. Consider that once hackers attack a user’s password for one account, they will use it in other applications as well, which may eventually lead to an attack on your company. In order to avoid such situations, it is essential to practice multifactor authentication for your mobile app, which will significantly secure your platform and the user’s privacy. Authentication techniques will help verify the identity of the user based on reliable methods. The process will require users to confirm their identity via SMS confirmation code, e-mail verification, or simply ask a personal question.
Often many mobile apps may cause unintentional data leaks. For instance, so-called riskware apps can steal data, hack into computer systems, or disrupt operations. Although riskware programs are not for hacking intentions, they have features that can hackers can manipulate for unauthorized purposes. It is crucial that mobile users do not grant mobile apps extensive rights without ensuring security measures. Keep in mind that just because the mobile app is officially on an app store or on advertising, it does not mean that it can not be a tool for malicious pruposes. Make sure to give permissions of your personal data wisely and avoid apps that require more information than they need.
Using Insecure Data Storage and Encryption
Having unsafe, unreliable, sensitive data storage is a significant security threat, which can lead to adverse consequences. Mobile devices are an essential part of our lives and contain some of the most private information. Now, imagine if your mobile phone is stolen, lost, or hacked, all of the private data will be at the risk of leakage and exploitation. An excellent solution to the problem of secure storage and transmission of data is to encrypt it. Data encryption converts data into a form or code that one can only access with a private key or password.
The lack of secure encryption can also lead to severe consequences such as theft of code and property, financial losses, violations of privacy, and damaged brand reputation. If devices and data do not have precise encryption, attackers can easily access the data. Poor encryption can cause data loss and cause significant issues for your mobile app and users. Keep in mind that strong encryption is not always enough for security, as algorithms can still fail. Often the passwords and keys are the targets for attacks, making using strong keys and passwords even more vital.
Mobile App Security Strategies
In the digital age, mobile app security is no longer an additional feature but a necessity.
Below are practical strategies to ensure mobile app security.
Build Secure coding
It is crucial to minimize any possible errors and bugs during the coding of your mobile app, as any minor vulnerabilities may become a target for hackers. Keep in mind, that often hackers will try to reverse your app code to exploit it for malicious intentions. It is essential to ensure that your codes are complex enough and challenging to crack. Consider the coding language peculiarities before starting the development. For instance, C ++ programming language language can make your application more immune to reverse engineering than Java. Also, choose cross-platform development kits wisely as they also affect the security level of your mobile app.
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Move part of the application to the server.
Transferring some of the logic and algorithms of the program to the server can help strengthen your mobile application security. For this, it is essential to ensure that you precisely configure the server and that it is reliable enough. With this strategy, it will be much more difficult to hack your mobile app.
Encrypt Private Data
Using encryption is an efficient method to secure data. Every block transmitted through the application must be encrypted. Thus, if your data is threatened or stolen, it will not be exploited for criminal purposes. Using a VPN is another practical strategy to encrypt your data and protect yourself from any potential security threats. VPN enables users to browse the web anonymously, which will prevent thieves from tracking your online activities.
Ensure correct authentication.
To securely protect user credentials, you need to provide multi-factor authentication. As already mentioned earlier, the verification process must be conducted in multiple steps, including checking username and password, sending SMS with a passcode, to name a few. It is crucial that your mobile app loads after successful authentication.
Communicate with your users about possible threats
In order to prevent questionable activities, configure a notification system to let users know when there is a sign in to the user’s account from an unauthorized user. Such strategies will make your app users feel safer and feel that you prioritize their security.