Securing Your Mobile App: Threats and Proven Solutions to Enhance Performance
In this shimmering world of emerging technologies and innovations, developing an application may have become the hottest trend among bootstrapper, SMEs and leading brands of the industry. But as the hype of digitization is increasing, mobile app security is also becoming a serious concern for businesses.
So how to keep your app vulnerabilities at the bay? This blog will guide you about the various security threats and widely accepted best practices to build a secure mobile app.
Let’s get into the deep of the concept with the table of content:
- Understanding the Common Psychology of Businesses
- Catching the Real Statistics That Showing the Need for Mobile App Security
- Common Threats and Technology-driven Solution For Your Business App
- Secret Formula to Secure Your Android/iOS App From Malware
- Conclusion: What To Do Next
So all set to go!
Understanding the Common Psychology of Businesses
As per the common belief of different sorts of organizations- small business owners are deeply aware of the fact that protecting their digital assets is a top priority. On the other side, many entrepreneurs have a bling spot when it comes to cybersecurity. And, some SMB owners believe that they are unlikely to get target by hackers as they generally target the big size enterprises with more valuable information to steal.
But there is no research study that supports this idea. In fact, according to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report, 43% of data breaches involved small business owners.
Coming to the other side of the story, in the wake of the high usage of mobile apps, small companies are heavily relying on storing their sensitive data on mobile devices rather than on laptops and desktops. And today, business smartphones either provided by the organization or the employee, are widely used for a commercial range of operations such as inventory control, customer relations, advertising and marketing, banking and accounting, and more.
Since small companies are accessible using these devices to store crucial yet sensitive data of their smartphone devices, therefore they become repositories for valuable data that can be targeted by hackers and malware.
But taking the appropriate precautions or hiring a mobile app development company for the project is much more like investing in an insurance policy that provides an additional layer of protection to your app.
When done right, the mobile app security can prevent the outcomes from a breach such as :
- Poor revenue generation
- Data loss of sensitive information
- The reputational damage of brand or business
- Intellectual property theft
While all the security risks are deeply evaluated by a team of experts, you can better protect your app and be able to take your business growth to new heights. If you are still not agreed with the fact, then you should have a look over these market statistics:
Catching the Real Statistics That Showing the Need for Mobile App Security
While cybersecurity issues are not new but with the side effects of a global pandemic- cybersecurity has become a day-to-day struggle for businesses. According to recent security research, most companies have unprotected data and poor cybersecurity practices in place and make them prone to data loss.
You don’t need to believe our empty words. Here are the few surprising statistics that make you understand why mobile app security has become an urgent need for businesses…
- Globally, 5.19 million people are using smartphones and 90 per cent of their time is spent on apps. Despite having a huge impact on the economy and a major revenue-driven asset, many organizations neglect basic security measures.
- 2020 was an unprecedented year in IT and IT security and organizations around the world are working with remote access. This results in a financial services employee having access to nearly 11 million files and nearly two-thirds of companies have 1000+ sensitive files that are open to everyone.
- About 60% of companies have 500+ passwords that have neither changed nor never get expired.
- 43% of organizations sacrificed mobile security in 2019 as their mobile app development teams are asked to prioritize the market time over security which leaves their applications vulnerable to attacks.
- Since coronavirus lockdown has resulted in increasing demand for mobile banking services, therefore the FBI warned consumers about mobile app fraud. Experts have cited a 50% rise in banking apps based on trojans, fake apps, and other financial vulnerabilities.
Apart here are some more stats about a variety of cybersecurity risks gathered from miscellaneous survey reports.
- 95% of the security issues breaches are caused by human errors.
- The worldwide information security market is forecast to reach $170.4 billion in 2022.
- Due to the current scenario, 68% of business leaders from all across the world feel that cybersecurity risks are increasing with each passing year.
In a Nutshell: With these statistics gathered from various sources, the lack of the right technology integrated into the system can lead to serious damage to your business. So if you are all set to deploy your shiny new mobile app to the app store, make sure you are equipped with the right mobile app development company right from the date of project kick-off. With the assistance of these experts, you can easily get to know about the rising threats such as malware that can put your sensitive data at sake.
So before you drill straight into hiring a team of developers, it is important to determine the ways you can build a completely secure app for your business.
Common Threats and Technology-driven Solution For Your Business App
In this digital driven-era, almost every business is operating with a digital presence with the aim to get connected with a wider segment of users. But if businesses are giving afterthought to the app security, then it can put their brand at a higher risk.
Make sure your business is properly secured by having a look at this mobile app security checklist for the future as per the survey, more than 75% of mobile applications actually fail the basic security tests.
Before everything, let’s understand where exactly these security issues breaches and how you can overcome all these issues…
Majority of the smartphone users download apps from the app stores and access mobile devices to manage their personal to enterprise tasks without even checking how secure these apps are to use. And the matter of fact is, these applications have little or no security assurances and are exposed to security attacks.
So here is the proper mobile app security checklist that can help you launch the full-prove secured app.
THREAT 1: Encrypted Source Code
With 86.5 million Americans are using on-demand services and projected to generate $935 billion for the economy, therefore it is fair enough to believe that many entities like payment cards, merchants, card brands or bank related things are in use during online transactions. The exchange of a huge amount of sensitive data worth trillions of dollars takes place in a year, which makes these apps a hotspot for hackers.
In addition, it has been discovered that mobile malware often taps vulnerabilities within the design and source code of the mobile application. And according to recent studies, that malicious source code infects more than 12 million mobile devices and leads to a lack of app security. This is the common way that attackers can affect your app by simply repackaging popular apps into “rough apps” and publish the same app to allure the attention of the users.
THREAT 2: Using the High Level of Authentication
Authentication practices are the most crucial part of mobile application security. The lack of high-level of authentication can lead to security breaches and put your app at great risk.
Solution: Make sure the team software development company you choose for the project, will design the app in such a way that it only accepts strong passwords. Apart, add the clause for the users to change their passwords periodically. For highly sensitive apps, you can strengthen the security of the app with biometric authentication using fingerprints or retina scan. Ensuring the top level of authentication will be the recommended way to avoid security breaches.
To prevent unauthorized access and password guessing attacks, it is recommended to implement a multi-factor authentication procedure. Combining password-based authentication with the device ID or one-time password will significantly prevent fraud.
THREAT 3: Using Third-Party Source Code
It is one of the most common practices for developers to incorporate the portion of coding that is available free to use from another source. Many experts believe that why reinvent the wheel when it is already available and working fine. But before using the third-party free source code, it is important to understand that it is not always isn’t safe to implement in your app.
According to Nodesource, only 16% of developers trust the third-party dependencies and 40% of them skip review for those third-party components, though.
Solution: Never be one of those developers or organizations that randomly believe in third-party dependencies. Don’t be one of those programmers and thoroughly pick your source code wisely. To avoid risking your app and ensuring high security, it is worth looking for a team of developers with a track record of developing excellent apps by using a secure code source.
THREAT 4: Lack of Data Caching Optimization
There are many organisations that are not aware of the fact that mobile devices usually store cached data in regard to enhancing the performance of the app. But coming to the other side of this, then it is a major cause of security issues that makes your device and app more vulnerable. The cached data relatively make it easier for attackers to breach and decrypt the cached data. The lack of optimization can result in stolen user data.
Solution: This simple way to overcome this issue is to protect your app with a password in case if the nature of app data is highly sensitive. This will help reduce vulnerabilities associated with cached data. You can also hire a mobile app developer that can help you set up an automatic process that directly optimises your app and clear all cached data whenever the device gets restarted. This helps reduce the cache and improve the security concern.
THREAT 5: Be Careful To Integrate APIs
To extend the functionality and usability of the app, developers commonly implement third party APIs and libraries to make their task easier and hassle-free. But, don’t trust any library blindly for building the app as most of them are not secure to use. The flaws in the library can allow attackers to use malicious code and may crash the system.
Solution: Using thirst party library is a common practice as it greatly assists in app development but the safe way to use it is to thoroughly test the code.
THREAT 6: Understanding the Limitation of Platform
Every business strives to launch a unique app to conquer the market with success. But before you drill straight to hire an app development company to transform your app idea into a robust solution, it is important to gain some platform-specific insights. Launching an app by just keeping in mind your business requirement is not enough to successfully publish your app to the app store. Understand not only what the business requirements are but also how it is manageable for the particular application.
Solution: Understanding mobile OS and platform-specific issues along with the business requirements for managing the particular mobile app are necessary initial steps to look for. As per the expert advice, use an SDK to handle the management components to avoid complications in managing enterprise requirements such as Social media integration/support, mobile app use cases, mobile app management, app development methodologies and more.
THREAT 7: Secure the Backend of the App
Today a large number of backend APIs are written and widely used to make your app interactive without realizing how far it is secure and safe to use in the app development process. But the truth is, it is far away from it.
The majority of mobile applications have a client-server mechanism, so it is important to have a security measure in place to safeguard your app against malicious attacks at the backend servers. Beyond reality, many programmers assume that only the app that has been programmed to access APIs can only access it
Solution: To make sure your app’s backend is secure, it is worth verifying all your APIs in accordance with the mobile platform you are planning to code because accordingly API authentication and transport mechanisms can deviate from one platform to another.
THREAT 8: Using Traditional Cryptography Techniques
Today, in this modern digitization era, where security is the biggest concerns for businesses, most applications are still using MD5 and SHA1 cryptography algorithms that are insufficient for the modern-day security requirements. Using the old yet tired cryptography techniques in your mobile app development will allow hackers to breach out the details.
Solution: To overcome this security threat, many organisations prefer to hire software developers as they integrate modern techniques and strive to integrate advanced solutions. It is vital to remain updated with the latest security algorithm and whenever possible, try to use modern encryption methods such as AES with 512-BIT encryption, 256-bit encryption and more for hashing.
THREAT 9: storing Huge Amount of Sensitive Data on App
With the extensive usage of mobile applications for managing every single task of the day and storing sensitive data on the app, it is fair enough to say that they themself increase the risk of data stolen. At times you never know what malicious activity is processing at your device, therefore it is important to limit your sensitive data store on the device.
Solution: To protect the sensitive data from the users, developers prefer to store the data in the local memory of the device. While you should avoid storing your sensitive details on both app and mobile device, in case if there is no other option left then better use encrypted data containers or key chain. In addition, make sure to minimize the log by adding the auto-deleting feature which by default deletes data after a certain time.
Furthermore, to limit the risk of malicious activities, it is important to avoid installing unreliable apps.
THREAT 10: Avoid Quality Assurance and Security Check
The last but not the least security tip for mobile apps, never to take QA testing casually. Never hesitate to test your application against randomly generated security scenarios before eventual deployment. Launching your app without testing can put your brand at hiring risk and make counter various surprising bugs at the time of usage.
Solution: If your budget allows you, then hire a mobile app developer along with a QA engineer that performs a throughout QA and security check and helps you identify security backdoors within an app you thought was good enough to launch. Moreover, the super big titans of the IT industry like Google and Microsoft, hold hackathons where hundreds of hackers try to identify the security issues to win that prize money.
The list of security threats is not ending here as there are a number of security issues used to born with time as technology is taking over the world. But there is a standalone secure way to ensure high security of the app. Let’s discover that!
Secret Formula to Secure Your Android/iOS App From Malware
Undoubtedly, the mobile app market is flooded with applications these days. So in case you are developing an application or having an application in the market, your first thought will be having a unique app development idea or how to modernize your existing app. Chances are least that you’ve stopped to consider how to secure your mobile app, data, and your client’s information.
However, if the truth to be told, any mobile app’s lasting success is determined by the security that it all provides. Today, with advanced psychology, when users are accessing your mobile app, they want to ensure that they are in a safe environment. They want to be insecure space where they can interact with one another when using a mobile app. That means a mobile app developer and a designing team has to be extra conscious of the security of the app at the phase of development.
That’s where the secret formula of launching a bug free and security checked app is to hire app developer that starts writing the code right from the scratch and take care of everything in between backend development, databases, APIs channeling information between device and OS.
The QA engineers experienced in testing multiple applications will definitely deeply test you and ensure you these services:
- Code writing of your app from scratch
- Ensure to use secure network connections on the backend.
- Keep identification, authentication and authorization measures in place
- Implement an end-to-end mobile encryption policy.
- Implement secure and well testing APIs and libraries in your app.
- Test, test, test and test your app to make it bug-free.
- Secure mobile app by launching the app only on trusted platforms
The average price to hire a mobile app developer is starting from $15 to $50+ depending upon various factors. But by making a small investment in hiring professionals, you can add the additional layer of security and protect your app from hackers.
Your smartphone is not a device to just attend to the calls or send messages. In fact, it is now a critical extension of your business where you store lots of sensitive data that actually make it a hotspot for hackers to target theft. So before the disaster strike, your preparation for protecting your device and mobile app will make a huge difference in the long team.
So whether you are planning to develop a mobile app or managing the one, take the advantage of these mobile app security tips and hire a mobile app development company that adds an extra edge to your business. It is the only key to keep the hacker at the bay and ensure long-term success.