Best practices for Mobile App Security

Mobiles have become a necessity in today’s world. Gone are the days when mobiles were used just to make or receive calls. Nowadays, mobiles can perform all the functions that were earlier possible on desktops or laptops only. No doubt, mobile apps have made life more convenient as work can be done anytime, from anywhere. Be it sending emails, instant messages, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, browsing online shopping sites, or financial transactions; everything is easily done using mobiles. 

Users download different applications to do their work or for entertainment and a lot of data gets inevitably stored in these apps. It is therefore essential to secure all applications so that the data doesn’t fall into wrong hands. Developers generally equip their apps with security solutions such as encrypting cache and using runtime application self-protection, so that user information is not compromised in any way.

Mobile app security techniques protect apps from threats like spyware and malware that can lead to data theft and other associated risks. Hackers try to access your personal and professional data such as your location, bank details, credit card details, and many more. This can eventually result in huge losses.

Here are a few areas that are impacted by weak app security:

  • IP Theft – Hackers deploy various techniques to infect the Apps code base illegally and then create their clones. The apps that are immensely popular with the masses are more prone to such attacks and need strong security.
  • Personal Information – Sometimes users download unsecure apps which makes it easy for a person with malicious intent to enter your device. Apps on platforms like Apple and Android play store are also not secure. Once the app is downloaded they get information related to the login details of social networking sites and banking details. Hackers are able to read your contact list, device location, and all your personal information. They can easily transfer all the data.
  • Financial information – Instances of theft of credit card details are very common and these may be used to carry on unauthorized bank transactions. This is easier in cases where OTP is not used.

Most of these risks and vulnerabilities can be prevented if the developers focus on these key areas while developing the app.

  • Enforcing Session Logout – Users generally remain logged in the app even after use. This may result in data theft which can be very harmful to banking and payment apps. To avoid misuse, payment apps generally end the user session automatically after it remains inactive for some time. Developers can increase safety by making it mandatory to log out of the app.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication – Multi-factor authentication is the addition of an extra function during user login so that the app remains secure even if the current password is not very strong. During this process, an additional code needs to be applied besides the password to enter the app. The user receives this code through different options such as email or message. This makes it difficult for the hacker to hack the app.
  • Penetration Testing – The apps need regular testing to lessen vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. This is done by creating a potential attack on the app to determine if there is any loophole such as weak passwords etc. Regular penetration testing ensures that old or new threats cannot harm the device.
  • Restriction of User Privileges – Limited user privilege is another means of safeguarding the app. If the user has more privileges than necessary, the chances of security being compromised increase manifold. 
  • Periodic Tests – Although apps may be secured at the time of development, new threats keep on emerging, making it imperative to keep checking and updating them periodically.
  • Run-time application self-protection – RASP security is cloud-based security that is incorporated within the app and detects any threat in runtime and immediately takes corrective actions like session shutdown and sending alerts. It exposes even the hidden risks, thus protecting the data from potential attacks.
  • HTTPS Usage - A lot of data is transported from the server to different users. HTTPS ensures the privacy of data in transit by using TLS and SSL ensuring its privacy over the network channels. 
  • Certificate Pinning – Apps connected to unsecured networks are vulnerable to MITM attacks. Such attacks can be avoided by certificate pinning. However, this operating procedure may not be compatible with all apps.
  • Consult Security Experts – There is no harm in consulting an expert when in doubt over an issue. The professionals may offer a different perspective on app security thereby reducing the risk of data theft.
  • Code Obfuscation – It is a technique wherein the code is concealed in a manner that makes it unreadable by hackers. This is undertaken by encrypting the code partially or removing metadata that could reveal information regarding APIs.

Final Thoughts

Mobile applications can have multiple areas of vulnerability as users download and share a lot of content with their friends and colleagues over various networks that may not be secure. Mobile application security is the need of the hour as it builds customer trust which goes a long way in increasing revenue and growth. Today, apps are used for multiple purposes and customers are becoming increasingly aware of the threat of cyberattacks. They prefer using safe applications that have been tested so that the chances of misuse of their data are minimized. The right strategy employed at the time of development can ensure a hassle-free experience for the end-user.

Appsealing’s no-code deployment ensures smooth integration of security solutions such as RASP within the app to monitor and protect it from malicious intentions. RASP does not just monitor the threats in real-time but takes necessary corrective measures to stop them too. 

If hackers can devise methods to illegally access the apps, developers have the ability and the means to employ robust methods of security that prevent any such intentions. Appsealing has numerous effective solutions that secure the apps while enhancing their performance. So, go ahead! Look for the best security option and enhance your brand value by implementing them.

 

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