How to build secure mobile apps: developers guide

Rania Mdimagh
Nov 19, 2020 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Mobile app development is taking over every industry becoming the number one digital solution in demand. While efficiency, innovation, great UI/ UX, and utility are the elements that development companies are credited for yet there is one more element that throws every other aspect under the bus if failed … which is “App security”!

App security isn’t just a feature or a benefit, it is a core necessity in app development as one breach could harm individuals and businesses not only financially but can also cost them lifetime trust. In-app development security should be a priority from the moment you start writing the first line of code! That’s why this blog is here to give you a complete guide to how to build secure mobile apps!

Before we dig into technical tips let’s understand what’s the purpose behind securing mobile apps

Why are mobile apps targeted by criminals?

Nowadays we spend more time with our personal devices mainly mobiles than our own families! which means constant engagement and interaction and overloading data shared with different mobile apps installed on our devices.

Shocking facts: According to startest:

  • 50% don’t prioritize cybersecurity in their app development

Hackers are targeting access over customer personal information in order to misuse them for criminal purposes. They have many motivations to exploit security problems in mobile applications looking for the following data :

  • Customer information to touch certain business’ reputation

Developers need to be extra cautious while building an app for both ios and android platforms.

Understanding technical risks

Mobile app security is an IT practice to secure applications from external threats like malware and other digital frauds that risk critical personal data of users. Securing a mobile app depends on its typology as every kind faces different risks

Understanding android app security risks :

  • Reverse Engineering: Android apps are developed in Java that can be reversed with various tools available on the internet. Reversing Android apps can easily provide test login credentials.

Explore more about android app development services

Hire Android App Developer

Understanding iOS App Security Risks

Generally, iOS apps are more secure yet they can face

  • Jailbreak: jailbreak means that the code will remain on the phone even after a reboot.

Explore more about iOS app development services

Hire Android App Developer

How to build secure mobile apps?

Whether you are an IT company or a freelance developer here are very important technical tips to build secure mobile apps that are immune to cyber attacks

Prioritize security from the first stages of development

Risk analysis is the first step as we need to study and understand the weaknesses of existing systems and figure out ways of ensuring data safety before developing an app. Security comes as a priority! Guaranteeing it begins in the very first stages of project development starting from the design stage till deployment. So the security team needs to be engaged from day one!

Write a Secure Code

Hacking is about detecting the vulnerabilities in the development codes of a mobile app. Harden your code, making it tough to break through and impossible to reverse, fix any bugs, and keep your codes easy to update.

Encrypt Data and enhance its security

Every single unit of data that is exchanged over your app must be encrypted and should be translated in a cryptic language that is only understood by key owners. It is what makes the FBI ask for codes because it is not possible to unencrypt the available data.

Secure Libraries and avoid third party dependency

Apps that require third-party libraries are highly threatened. Some libraries can be extremely insecure. Developers should use controlled internal repositories and exercise policy controls.

Use Authorized APIs Only

APIs that aren’t authorized and are loosely coded give hackers privileges. APIs should be authorized centrally for maximum security.

High-Level Authentication methods is a must

Implementing strong authentication measures is a must. Apps should be designed to only accept strong alphanumeric passwords that must be renewed every three or six months, dynamic OTP, double authentication, and other methods.

Activate Tamper-Detection

Active tamper-detection makes sure that the code will not function at all if modified.

Think like a hacker, test test, and retest!

Thinking like a hacker enables you to identify potential flaws and constantly test them and improve them. Investing in penetration testing and threat modeling helps to fix gaps with each update and issue patches when required.

Ask for Minimal Application Permissions and savings

Your app should not seek permission requests beyond its functional area! Saving passwords is used to avoid repeated login yet it should be avoided as it helps in hacking credentials.


Securing your app is no option! It is a must!! As a developer following the best practices can guarantee the development of secure difficult to hack applications.

Securing digital solutions is what differentiates one company from another by providing an unbeatable competitive advantage.

Originally published at on November 19, 2020.


Innovative insights and interesting stories from your…

Rania Mdimagh

Written by

Marketer, Blog /content writer, and creator for IndiaNIC and Cohort believing that marketing is the art of selling potatoes ;)



Innovative insights and interesting stories from your friends at IndiaNIC.

Rania Mdimagh

Written by

Marketer, Blog /content writer, and creator for IndiaNIC and Cohort believing that marketing is the art of selling potatoes ;)



Innovative insights and interesting stories from your friends at IndiaNIC.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store