Mobile App Security is more than just a feature – it is imperative. A single breach could cost your brand not just thousands of dollars but a lifetime of trust. That is precisely why Mobile App Security standards should be a top priority for you from the time you start writing your first line of code.
While you were too focused on developing the most innovative apps, look around, and you will stumble upon a slew of security breach events that shook up the cyber world and made off with millions of dollars. If you begin to consider the kind of relationship we have with our smartphones today, you will realize that a major share of our critical information is floating about in the ether, exposing them to a slew of cybercriminals.
With a single break-in, attackers could discover our name, age, home address, contacts, account numbers or even our current location. Enterprise applications exchange extremely sensitive data that cybercriminals are constantly on the prowl for.
With information of this level of importance at stake, developers need to take extreme caution in order to safeguard their users’ and clients’ data. Here are five ways of how developers can integrate mobile app security best practices into their apps:
Mobile App Security Best Practices
1. Ensure that Security begins at the Application Level
Device manufacturers and Operating Systems will constantly implement Mobile App security measures periodically. However, completely relying on them to protect you is a wrong expectation. Many organizations and developers believe that the iOS platform makes them more secure. While it is agreeable that iOS is relatively better when it comes to Mobile app security standards compared to Android, it is changing to some extent. Therefore, as a business, you need to ensure that you handle mobile security at the application level. This will drastically reduce your dependency on platforms and devices to safeguard you from risks and threats.
2. Download only Authorized Apps from Enterprise App Stores
Though this method is not 100% effective, it is one of the most significant aspects overlooked by companies. Enterprises need to make it mandatory that employees do not download third-party applications at all unless pre-approved through a strict level of security testing process. While you employ BYOD principles at the workplace, it is critical that you educate your employees on the Mobile app security threats involved in downloading third-party applications. For all internal applications, create a safe and secure enterprise app store enabling employees to have access to these applications.
3. Use High-Level Authentication
The fact that some of the greatest mobile app security breaches happen due to weak authentication makes it increasingly important to use stronger authentication. Simply put, authentication refers to passwords and other personal identifiers that work as barriers to entry. Though a large part of this depends on the end users of the applications that you develop, as a developer, you can encourage users to be more sensitive towards the authentication processes.
You can create apps to accept only strong alphanumeric passwords that need to be renewed every three to six months. Also, multi-factor authentication (combination of static password and dynamic OTP) is gaining increased popularity. In case of highly sensitive apps, biometric authentication including retina scan and fingerprints can be used as well.
4. Use Containerization for Critical Corporate Data
Containerization is a great way to try and protect sensitive corporate data. The name is self-explanatory and means that you can effectively use techniques to store sensitive organizational data in a separate container in the mobile application. This is a foolproof way to employ a system that identifies your organizational data as more sensitive when compared to say your selfies from the last vacation!
5. Test Time and Again
Securing your application is a process that never ends. New threats emerge every day, and new solutions are needed to address them. You can invest in penetration testing, threat modeling, emulators and others to test your apps for vulnerabilities regularly. Fix them with every update and issue patches whenever needed.
The notable data breaches of 2019 so far like the Facebook User Password Privacy issue and Hacked Dunkin’ Donuts accounts have definitely gotten leading other organizations to take notice of the significance of cybersecurity trends, and the forthcoming years will see everyone from brands to consumers taking Mobile app security standards more seriously than ever. Security will become one of the greatest differentiators in the success of apps than usability and aesthetic appeal.
What other best practices would you add to the list? Please share your views in the comments section below.