7 Rules for Improving Security in Mobile App Development Projects

Applications are required utmost protection. Unfortunately, IT leaders could not make it possible to create environments that ensure complete application security. 

If you are looking for something that could protect your business or application from hackers, then follow these seven rules to stay safe in the long run.

Numerous rules are there to follow to improve security in mobile app development. Check out a list of the authorities to stay on the safe side in your new mobile app development projects.

1. Have a powerful API security strategy

Since mobile development hinges so squarely on APIs, a big part of securing mobile apps is securing their APIs. In general, APIs flow data between apps, the cloud, and many different users, all of whom need to be verified and authorized to access the data. APIs are recognized as the primary mediums for content, functionality, and date to ensure proper API security, which is an essential part of the chain.

Pro Tip: There are three main security measures, which comprise a well-built API security stack, i.e. identification, authentication, and authorization.

2. Secure Code Development

The primary requirement of secure mobile app development is that it must be based on secure coding. You can set the advanced security standards at the code level; this way, it is pretty hard to crack the code and inject the virus into it. For example, it’s recommended to apply content control methods to limit the copy & paste actions. Through the “Open in” option, developers can restrict the mobile application from opening malicious content in the app itself. 

3. Data encryption

Encryption is the process of scrambling data. Thus, only authorized parties can understand the information. In other words, it is a process of converting human-readable plain text to incomprehensible text.  

Data encryption helps to make it useless for cybercriminals to use. So, whatever data is exchanged on the app must always be encrypted. There are several ways to encrypt the data, one of which is via implementing cryptography. It works when you store data sets in secure containers and make sure none of them are stored locally on the device. 

Several methods are there to encrypt the data, one of which is implementing cryptography. First, store the data sets in secure containers and make sure none of them are stored locally on the device. The most-widely cryptographic protocols are SHA-256 for hashing and 256-bit AES encryption.

4. Mobile App Data Security

Mobile application developers face the most common and frequent issues: the unintentional release of sensitive data, faulty encryption techniques, defective session handling, etc. When it comes to hackers, we assume they must be experts at coding and crack all doors to glean all the data they want. The essential steps are to ensure mobile app security is to secure your mobile application are: 

  • Minifying the application
  • Adding obfuscation
  • Deploying OWASP methodology while coding

Below are some essential steps which need to be followed for securing the source data of the application: 

  • Prepare & compile code
  • Discover & support file
  • Scan the code based on vulnerability data
  • Verify the findings reported by the scanning engine
  • Report the conclusions & store suggestions to rectify the problem if any

5. Take extra care of libraries.

Third-party libraries are one of the most insecure parts of your application. The annual State of Software Security report found that 70% of applications have a security flaw in an open-source library on the initial scan. Cross-Site Scripting is the most common vulnerability category found in open source libraries, present in 30% of libraries – followed by insecure deserialization (23.5 percent) and broken access control (20.3 percent).

So, configurational management is essential in protecting your software supply chain and should include inventorying any open-source components to ensure full traceability. 

Furthermore, the GNU C library also had a massive security flaw allowing cybercriminals to crash a system remotely. For seven years, such glitches went unnoticed until the library was rectified and re-launched. 

It is suggested that when dealing with third-party libraries, be cautious. You need to ensure that developers control internal data banks and exercise policy controls. 

6. Users should protect their devices.

Mobile app developers can’t do a lot to ensure their users have secure devices when they are downloading their applications. We’ve compiled a few essential pointers for users who want to avoid security issues or identify theft or fraud if the device is lost or stolen. Check them out:

  • It’s recommended not to use rooted or jailbroken devices. It eliminates the built-in security measures that come with the device, and you are left more vulnerable. 
  • You need to download only apps from trusted sources, such as authorized app stores. 

7. Testing is essential.

Apps carry a lot of sensitive information and data, which they exchange in real-time. It could be confidential transactions, employee data, or user search data. Any vulnerability could end your application. Therefore, the app development cost is directly affected if security measures are not fully implemented.

Undeniably, testing the app code, again and again, can help you in the long run regarding web application security. Nowadays, applications are emerging so rapidly. However, sometimes, essential steps like testing may often be left by developers to launch in the market. 

After testing for functionality and usability, it’s also advisable to test for security., no matter what kind of your application is. You will be able to detect vulnerabilities in the code, so it’s easier to correct them before launching the application.

Final thoughts

More and more apps are developing, and more security concerns are emerging. Unfortunately, mobile apps are too negligent with their users’ data regarding security issues. CPR called out cloud-security developers; they must take steps to get better protection for their services. 

To prevent such hacks, a solid mobile security strategy and a team of skilled mobile app developers can help to respond quickly to threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, your mobile app will be safer and more secure for users. This way, you can ensure their loyalty for the future. 

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