Practices that App Developers Should Follow to Enhance Mobile App Data Security
Unlimited use of Mobile Applications:
One of the most rapidly progressing things with regards to Information Technology is the apps on your smartphone that you use regularly. Nowadays, there is no single thing for which an app has not been developed. Whether you are a hungry introvert who wants to order food online. In 2018 alone, there have been as much as 205.4 billion app downloads worldwide. An average mobile phone user spends 2 hours and 15 minutes scrolling through mobile apps every day. Keeping these statistics in mind, it is safe to say that the mobile app developing industry is booming and flourishing.
Developing Apps is not an Easy Task:
Though an app developer will most likely not be out of a job for very long these days, he has to work very hard to provide us with a flawless and immaculate app. One of the most frequent complains, and primary concern when developing an app for smartphones is data security. Your mobile phone holds a heap of sensitive information that you would not want to be leaking out.
Security Issues With Mobile Apps
Before we dive in to discuss how a qualified app developing company takes care of these sensitive security issues, let us briefly talk about what these concerns are. Some of the most common cybersecurity concerns in the modern era include data theft or unintentional release of sensitive data.
Unintentional Release Data
Accidental leakage of sensitive data happens when it is stored in insecure and unsafe locations on a mobile device. This unprotected data can be picked by the other apps on the device and used in ways that the user did not intend for.
Faulty Encryption Techniques
When you think of encrypted data, you imagine it is safe and protected. However, this is not always the case and encryption can sometimes fail to keep important data secure. The process of encrypting data involves creating a ‘key’ through which the data can be translated into its decrypted form.
When you are using a mobile app, it is understood that you are not always connected to the internet. At these offline times, these apps cannot differentiate between different users. When an app lacks offline authorization or has a poor version of it, unauthorized users may access sensitive parts of the app offline. These hackers can even go so far as to use the app in ways that only administrators can.
Defective Session Handling
If your app fails to end a previous session when you have started a new one, the unauthorized person with access to your lost phone can operate the app the same way that you can.
Now that we have discussed what are the common cybersecurity threats being faced by the public in association with mobile apps let us consider the steps that app developers can take to eliminate or minimize them. Fortunately, for each security problem, we have at least one solution that can be implemented to make your mobile use safer. Let’s begin with some necessary steps that every quality app developer must consider if he or she wants to provide a safe and problem-free experience to the users.
Significant Resources for Security
This one may sound like a no brainer, but it needs to be greatly emphasized upon when considering how overlooked it tends to get. When developers are designing mobile apps, they want to come out on top of their competitors in regards to the facilities offered. Striving for excellence, they cut corners to be able to focus more on the performance of the app. A lot of times, these app developers might make the mistake of not allocating enough resources for security. In this case, though their app may be able to perform better than any other at what it is meant for, it will compromise greatly on keeping the user’s data secure. Mobile hackers often target the source code of an app to gain unauthorized access to relevant information. Not encrypting your source code when developing an app for smartphones is simply making their work easier.
Take efforts into Consideration
Each operating system being used by your target audience will have its limitations and constraints.
When writing code for your app, you must consider all these limitations and come up with a design that caters to most of the target population – without compromising their security.
Emphasize on Securing Data
Many times, you will need different mobile apps to communicate with each other. This is achieved by an application programming interface or an API.
These APIs are a vital bit of backend development but are vulnerable to data loss. For this reason, it is essential to have quality security measures on these and keep them in check.
An API key restricts unauthorized apps from accessing information or make alterations on the platforms you are working on. Furthermore, the use of API gateways makes the interaction between multiple apps even more secure.
Improvement of Authentication Methods
Like we discussed above, weak authentication techniques can be a significant concern when it comes to data security. Must ensure maximum soundness and protection of the data on the user’s phone, it is crucial to implement the highest level authentication methods. This can easily be done by designing your app in such a way that it encourages the user to use stronger passwords. An app that will only accept a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, is much more secure than one that lets the users pick random words for passwords. You can further enhance your authentication techniques by requiring the user to log in via email or text after they have put in the password. Though this dual-factor authentication can sometimes become a hassle for the user, it is worth it if the nature of the information stored on the app and the phone is sensitive enough.
Encryption Keys on the Device
As discussed above, storing keys in insecure locations can often cause encryption to fail. If this happens, the data that you imagined protected and impregnable might be stolen,A simple way to avoid this from happening is always making sure your encryption keys are stored in secure containers.
To Wrap up
Regardless of the huge number of apps available for assistance today, a mobile app developer will always be in business. There is a constant demand for newer and better apps by mobile phone users – no matter how many likewise apps are already available on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.