Best Ways to Avoid Security Issues in App Development

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The popularity and significance of mobile applications is indisputably interminable one. We have all seen the remarkable transformation that mobile phones and computers have undergone. They are no longer the common communication tools that they used to be. Today, mobile devices are a pivotal part of both business and human life. Apart from just being a form of communication, mobile phones also offer entertainment features. They can be used to store your vital information, among other benefits.

The supremacy and essentiality of mobile phones can be attributed to one thing- mobile applications. Mobile apps magnify the functionality of mobile phones. Mobile apps serve nearly all imaginable purposes. Businesses across the world are fully embracing the use of applications to run very crucial functionalities. Mobile applications can play significant roles in providing more values to customers. They can also be used to your business’s brand and help you improve your connectivity with your customers.

To be part of the business world, reaping big by having mobile applications, you should start considering developing a mobile application for your business. While doing this, you will need to be extra cautious. We live in an insecure world where cyber insecurities are a significant threat. Mobile applications are not immune to hackers. A single mistake done in developing your application could render your application and your business at large a hotspot for hackers. Most companies are still taking the issue of application security lightly.Verizon’s 2020 Mobile Security Index shows that 43% of organizations sacrificed application security in 2019. The same report shows that those that did are twice as likely to face a compromise. Application security experts recommend the following security measures that you should keep in mind to come up with a secure mobile application.

1.Secure coding

Security breaches occur because of many reasons. One of the reasons is poor coding. Poor coding makes it easier for hackers to carry out a data breach. You have to know that the code is the most vulnerable part of a mobile application. Hackers have a habit of exploiting this vulnerability. You must try to come up with a secure code. As per research findings, about 11.6 million mobile devices have fallen victim to malicious code. Cybercriminals can quickly reverse engineer the code of your application and use it for malicious purposes. It is thus essential to make sure that your code is of the highest quality possible.

Developers can use different techniques to develop a quality code that will make it hard for cyber attackers to reverse engineer. For instance, developers can consider code obfuscation. This refers to turning the code into incomprehensible gibberish. Utmost vigilance should be taken when buying the code. Do not be quick to trust the app development company. Hackers have become creative, and some are posing as application developing companies hoping that someone will be able to buy their code. It would be best if you were on the lookout for such scams. Take your time and do your homework before ultimately choosing to work with a specific mobile app developer. Such a level of caution is essential for in-app security.

2.Use an SSL Certificate

When an SSL certificate is mentioned, people often think about website security. They can be used in mobile security too. Mobile applications carry vital user details which need to be secured at all costs. Sensitive information includes essential financial information, credit card details, debit card details, health details, and personal addresses. Proper security measures should be taken to protect these data from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks. Purchasing and installing an SSL certificate is one of the best ways to encrypt and guard this information. Still not convinced why SSL encryption is of great essence in mobile application security? Look at thecase of Starbucksthat happened in 2014. The company mobile application left users’ data unencrypted and suffered a devastating data breach. You do not have to be the next victim of a data breach. All you need to do is buy and Install an SSL certificate from atrusted SSL certificate provider.

3.Test Every Iteration of the Product

After creating a code, developers should then make sure that the code does not result in vulnerabilities. To ensure that the code is free from vulnerabilities, you will need to conduct period to period code scanning. Frequent threat modeling can also play a crucial part in detecting vulnerabilities that might exist in the application. After identifying the vulnerabilities, proper mitigations should be engineered to curb the loopholes. Code monitoring and testing can reveal insecure activities that can be a significant threat to the mobile application.

Threat modeling refers to the processing of examining your security design to discover possible vulnerabilities that could be a threat to the security of your mobile application. The practice is of great essence to mobile app developers as it will help them understand the possible security loopholes and then build defenses to protect the app. The first step towards building a secure application is not learning complex coding skills. You will need to understand the possible techniques that hackers will use to break into the application. You should do your homework and know how your application can be easily compromised. Through this, you will learn how best to build a great defense wall to protect your application.

You can follow the following steps when threat modeling:

  1. Document the functionality of the application. Focus on the flow of information through the application.
  2. Ascertain the possible weak spots of the application following the flow of information. Also, document the potential security threats that could target different segments of the application.
  3. Address the vulnerabilities by putting in place a proper protective mechanism.
  4. Run through your threat model to make sure that you did not miss out on anything.

4.Develop damage detection techniques for the mobile application

As I have already mentioned, your code is a very crucial component of your mobile application. You have to do all that it takes to protect it from interference.  One way of doing so is by developing a tamper detection mechanism that will alert you, in any case, there is an interference with your code. Doing this will make it very hard for a cyber attacker to inject a malicious program into your code. The detection mechanism will also keep track of all the activities that take place in your mobile application.

5.Use Proper Cryptography Tools and Procedures

Key management is a crucial thing as far as data encryption is concerned. Proper protocols should be followed when dealing with your keys. For instance, you can consider appropriate encryption protocols such as SHA256 and AES. You should also consider proper essential storage methods. It would help if you never store your keys on local devices. When going for the cryptography tools and security protocols, make sure you go for the latest ones. This is because the latest ones will usually come with more advanced security features that are crucial to your application’s security.

6.Embrace automation

Most people now see security as a hindrance to getting things done. However, this kind of notion should change. We should start looking at the bigger picture and see security as an enabler. One of the most efficient ways of incorporating security into your code will be through automation. Automation will significantly reduce the chance of human error. It will initiate essential security protocols and do away with security vulnerabilities that could threaten your application. Automation is crucial in creating servers with the same blueprints from time to time without compromising the code’s security. The fact is- without automating your security, you will never achieve real security at scale for your mobile application.

Conclusion

Applications carry a significant amount of information. They store data that is lucrative to hackers. Cyber attackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities and loopholes in the applications. They will take advantage of these loopholes and carry out a data breach. This is why application security is of great significance. Developers should take their time and learn about the best application security practices. This article has given some of the tips which are essential in eliminating security in app development.

 

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