Mobile phones have become an inseparable part of our lives and so are mobile applications. From food, to travel, education, entertainment, sports, healthcare, finance & more, we have a mobile application for everything. Gone are the days when people used to turn on their computers to check emails or read the newspaper. Now everything is available through mobile applications.
As the number of mobile apps is increasing in the app stores, security is becoming the biggest concern among developers as well as users. Due to cybersecurity attacks, businesses and individuals lose millions of dollars as well as face data-stealing issues. Researches have shown that 56% of mobile apps are vulnerable to cyber attacks that weaken the security measures of a system.
Today, the success of a mobile app is measured by its ability to show resistance against security threats. As hackers are getting smart, developers must become smarter and learn new techniques to develop secure mobile applications.
Mobile App Security Stats:
100% of the top paid applications in the Google Play Store have been hacked once or more
57% of the top paid applications in the Apple App Store have been hacked
The percentage of mobile malware infections increased by 163% year upon year.
Here are some tips to make sure your next mobile application hits the ground with great safety and security.
1- Read About The Most Common Cyber Attacks
Reports about mobile app security attacks are published every year. To develop a secure mobile app, developers must read yearly reports and researches to learn about the nature of attacks with respect to mobile security.
Developers should do extensive research to find out where other developers were lacking which made the application prone to attacks. Studying and researching the nature of attacks extensively will give you the answers to all the questions.
There are webinars available on the internet that can help you deal with mobile application security. The goal is to learn more and more about the nature of attacks so you may think like hackers and find out what ways he can use to hack the applications.
2- Recognize Platform-Specific Limitations
A developer must have thorough information about the platform-specific limitations to develop a safe and secure application.
Be it an android, iOS, or hybrid mobile app development, you must understand and consider the security features and limitations of an app first. While coding, a developer must ensure the fact that every operating system deals with encryption, passwords, geo-tagging in many different ways.
3- Development Phase Security
While developing the app, make sure each step of app development is safe and secure. Every stage needs to be checked by a security specialist so that he can spotlight issues related to apps’ security and help developers fix them right away.
Developers may also use an emulator to find ways hackers can get into the system and then secure those ways to close the path. The steps involved would be ranking the security threats, categorizing them, and mitigating methods to protect the app.
Moreover, a security framework will also help to protect coding at each step, thus building a strong security framework for your application. If your data is encrypted, it would be useless even if the hackers get access to it.
Also, there should be multi-password authentication, especially for financial applications. Developers must provide options like user-specific password or OTP that will ensure safe and secure logins and transactions. Users can also add biometric password recognition such as retina scanning or fingerprint recognition for the users when accessing sensitive data.
4- Password Security
When you develop a mobile application, it needs to be tested constantly because developing and testing a mobile app go hand in hand. There are hackers who have hacked even the top toughest apps and there are chances that a cybercriminal may access your app. It is the responsibility of developers and testers to ensure that the key features of the app like credit card numbers, phone numbers, personal data, locations, passwords, and other details remain safe and don’t end up in the wrong hands easily.
Developers who work on the project must be aware of all the possible hacking ways including spyware and malware. They must set features in a way that people set long passwords for their accounts as short passwords are easy to hack. Therefore, developers must set a long password feature that contains at least 8 characters, alphanumeric and other characters in it.
5- Server Security- Application Security
The app server requires maximum protection as there are many possibilities hackers can penetrate into the server via the client’s phone. It is imperative to protect the server and cloud server so that cybercriminals cannot get access to the server’s details. As hackers can use malicious code to reverse engineer the code, developers must use binary protection and code obfuscation to prevent reverse engineering.
Database encryption with TLS (transport layer security), VPN (Virtual Private Network), and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) can also add more security to your mobile application. They play an important role when data is being transferred from server to device or vice versa.
6- Test, Test and Retest Mobile Applications
According to the reports of TechRepublic, about 70% of the developers don’t trust their own security codes, and also don’t consider testing their apps before the final launch.
QA testing is an essential part of building a secure code and it must be tacked at the end of the process. Testing security code will help developers to find every possible security hole so that they can fix it before it ends up hacked.
We live in the age of technology where even top-rated mobile apps get hacked. That means hackers are getting smarter with each passing day, so developers must polish their app security skills and implement the proper framework in order to protect the user data. The goal should be minimizing risk while enhancing user satisfaction.
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