Synopsis- When it comes to the security of mobile apps, it is still the top concern for all business owners and app developers. Any data leak can have devastating consequences, including the loss of business, high-value clients, and brand reputation. However, security concerns persist regardless of the operating system and development platform you choose or how the security codes are implemented in the mobile app. In this article we have addressed the top mobile app development security best practices to follow.
Why is Mobile app Development security important?
There are a number of reasons why application security is so important. Application security can put an organization at risk of going out of business:
Security risks can be reduced by identifying and fixing flaws, which also helps reduce an organization’s overall attack surface.
Software flaws are prevalent. Even noncritical vulnerabilities can be combined for use in attack chains, even though not all of them are serious. Attacks can be lessened by reducing the number of security flaws and vulnerabilities.
Reactive security measures are preferable to proactive application security measures. Defenders can identify and stop attacks earlier, sometimes before any damage is done, by being proactive.
Attacks on those assets may rise as businesses move more of their data, code, and operations into the cloud. Security measures for applications can help lessen the impact of such attacks.
Top best practices for mobile app development security
1. Start with the security of the source code
Nowadays, every programming language is easy to read and write. Nearly every programming language is open-source, which means that anyone can use it for free. Furthermore, hackers are the best at programming. Every day, they work on codes that explain how to get inside the code and open all doors to get the data they want. As a result, they can easily crack the code and inject the malware.
Therefore, securing the source code should be the first step in mobile app security. So, how can the mobile app’s source code be protected?
1. While you are coding, you can use the OWASP methodology, but you don’t have to. 2. You can also minify the code 3. Add obfuscation
These source code security best practices for your mobile app make it hard for hackers to understand the language. And by doing so, you can secure your mobile application.
2. Secure all of your servers and network connections
Security of your servers and network connections is the next best practice. Why?
1. Your own and third-party APIs communicate with the server. 2. Servers assist your mobile app in processing and delivering app pages on the client side. 3. Additionally, network security remains one of the top three concerns for IT, telecom, and network decision-makers, according to an Oracle survey.
Additionally, malware attacks on your server could result in the loss of your app data, users’ trust, and brand reputation. How then can you safeguard your mobile app server against all of these malware attacks?
How then can you safeguard your mobile app server against all of these malware attacks?
1. Install firewalls 2. Secure the MySQL database 3. Protect your CMS 4. Ensure server monitoring 5. Use containerization to securely store your data 6. Use federation security to allow secured collaboration between systems, networks, and organizations 7. Install firewalls 8. Use SSL to secure the servers 9. Use passwords to protect the servers from unauthorized access.
3. Practice with Platform-Specific restrictions
Not all businesses choose to develop mobile applications for both Android and iOS. Based on various factors and app requirements, some of them choose iOS or Android. However, the security of your mobile apps is impacted by the limitations of each platform in both instances.
You might be surprised to learn that the vulnerabilities in the operating system and hardware of Android and iOS devices, which allow attackers to take complete control of the devices, are the most prevalent method of device hacking.
So, how can you ensure that the platform-specific security measures for mobile apps are current?
1. Set up password and encryption security measures to prevent malware attacks on operating systems. Even the platforms you choose must adhere to app security best practices. 2. Protect the app against communication between the mobile app and the device’s functionalities like geolocation. 3. Understand the user scenarios where platform-specific limitations can be a hindrance to the security of the mobile app.
4. Secure APIs
Concerns about APIs’ cybersecurity risk were highlighted in a survey conducted at the beginning of 2018. According to that survey, DDoS threats, bot attacks, and API authentication enforcements are the most concerning concerns for 63% of IT professionals. How can you protect your mobile app’s APIs?
1. Enhancing mobile security by tampering with API input parameters with the assistance of API profiling 2. Combine API profiling with anti-scraping policies that can detect DDoS attacks 3. Include API identification, authentication, and authorization for API-related security risks 4. Keep a close eye on communication between APIs and app users 5. Set up standardized protocols like OAuth, HTTP, and SeaCat 6. Make use of JSON web tokens.
In today’s world, the majority of tasks are carried out with the assistance of APIs, and ignoring them could pose serious security risks. Therefore, ensure that the APIs used in your mobile apps are protected.
5. Work on data security
Working on data security is another mobile app Development security best practice. A recent data security breach that exposed the personal information of 50m Facebook users drew criticism. It is essential to ensure that your mobile app users’ data security is already covered in order to prevent this from happening to your organization. And how do you manage that?
1. Create a data security plan and even a policy that focuses on identifying all potential data breaches. 2. Take into consideration prominent brands whose data security was compromised and the new safeguards they have implemented, as well as how you can apply them to your mobile app. 3. SQLite Database Encryption modules can be used to protect data stored in the sandbox. 4. Develop a user-controlled, decentralized security system to improve cybersecurity. So, that was to ensure the safety of your mobile apps’ data.
6. Secure the data in transit
While communication takes place between app users and the back end. This is the most crucial step in securing the mobile app. Encrypt the data as it travels. Therefore, securing APIs, back-ends, and source codes is only one aspect of mobile app Development security. It should pay more attention to the data that is moving. How can the data be kept safe while it is being in transit
1. Use proactive security measures rather than reactive ones. 2. To ensure that data security measures are implied, develop security policies that appropriately categorize and classify the app users’ data. 3. The security of the data while it is in transit is automatically ensured by allowing users to prompt, block, and even encrypt sensitive data. 4. Install WPA2 Enterprise to encrypt all data that is sent from the app users to the servers. 5. Secure the data while it is in transit with SSL/TLS certificates.
As a result, mobile app development security must be taken extra seriously when handling data in transit.
7. Prevent Data Leakage
Nearly all mobile applications require user permission to access a certain amount of data. In addition, in order to permit the mobile app to be downloaded and installed, users are forced to accept it. One example of a situation in which data leakage is most likely to occur is this one. However, if you’re mobile app allows data breaches to occur, your reputation stands to lose everything. So, what are the most effective ways to stop data leaks?
1. Access controls are more likely to stop data leaks than other methods, so restrict access to data resources. 2. By masking sensitive data, dynamic data masking (DDM) prevents non-privileged users from seeing it. 3. When there are hints that data has been leaked, set up alerts. 4. Make use of tokenization, which prevents data leakage by replacing the important data with a unique identification system.
8. Use encryption with cryptography
Encrypting data with a powerful cryptography algorithm is one of the most advanced methods for protecting data. There are a variety of algorithms used in cryptography to encrypt data for data security reasons. Among the other crypto encryption algorithms, the ones mentioned above are currently the strongest and best. Additionally, using them for your mobile security is highly recommended.
Avoid storing critical data- Nearly all mobile users store personal and sensitive data, including credit card information and passwords, on their devices. Additionally, you cannot demand that users refrain from doing so. Instead, here are some things you could do:
9. Secure BYOD
The majority of businesses now encourage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). If you’re one of them, you need to work hard on data security because it’s regarded as the most important thing for your business. In light of these statistics and concerns, you must follow the following security best practices to keep your data safe:
1. The what, when, why, where, and how of the devices and data used by employees should all be covered in the security policies you create for all of them. 2. Install a virtual private network (VPN) on the mobile devices of employees to maintain strict security against data breaches. 3. Make sure that all of your mobile devices are safe with high-quality antivirus software that keeps them from falling prey to malware. 4. In order to safeguard passwords at the organizational level, password management software must be included in security policies.
10. Strong Password Security
If your mobile app needs to access and store important user data, you need to use strong password security to keep the important data safe. It is entirely up to you which type of password you wish to enable. However, the password shouldn’t be so complicated that it’s hard for the user to generate, remember, or even use it. One of the best ways to make sure your mobile app is safe is to do this.
11. Updating OS
New security patches and fixes to existing ones are included in every operating system update. That implies the new refreshed working framework is the superior rendition from the prior. Therefore, you must ensure that your mobile app is regularly updated in light of the upcoming OS updates. This makes it possible for even your mobile app to have more recent security updates.
12. Bring in hackers for QA
Google is just one of many businesses that routinely do this. They use hackers to find security flaws in their products before they go on sale. Therefore, bringing in hackers to evaluate the app’s quality and determine whether anyone is able to break into it is one of the most important things that mobile app developers can do. Although not all organizations can afford it, if you have the funds, you should go ahead and do so.
Inference to the topic- The most pressing issue for both business owners and app developers alike is and will continue to be mobile app security. However, bringing up-to-date solutions to the same is the most important thing. As a result, adhering to all of these best practices is absolutely necessary to keep your mobile app secure, prevent data breaches, and maintain your customer’s trust in your brand.