Over the past few years, there have been several reports of cyber criminals hacking into mobile applications and leaking confidential customer information for ransomware. This has further resulted in exposing business owners to lawsuits while damaging their legal and financial reputation.
Having said that, no matter whether you’re developing an application for your business or already have one, it’s high time that you start focusing on app security.
But how do you protect your application as well as your business from becoming the next headline warning others to improve their app security? Moreover, what level of IT support do you actually need to ensure your business applications and by extension, your network is safe from digital threats?
In this article, we’ve put together our top 6 tips to help you secure your customer information along with other business-critical data while keeping security breach at bay!
Let’s get started!
1. Secure Your Application from the Beginning:
When it comes to implementing robust security practices on a mobile application, many businesses simply focus on the network part whilst there are numerous other vulnerabilities to consider in its source code.
There are several areas that could be an open invitation to security breach – code testing and coding error to name a few.
So how do you protect your application from scratch?
Here’s what you can do:
- Secure the code using a strong encryption. While you could do this either through obfuscation or minification, these aren’t enough. It’s best to go for well-supported algorithms and combine them with an API encryption.
- You could even run regular source code scanning on the app to prevent a data breach.
A secure code is key to protecting your application even after it’s ported between devices and OS (operating systems); a flexible code could also aid on this front.
2. Protect Your Network from the App’s Backend:
It’s essential to have robust security practices for the cloud servers being leveraged by the application’s API to secure your customers’ data and avoid unauthorised access.
You also need to have an API verification in place and ensure that every zero sensitive data is passed on to your app server or database.
In order to execute this step successfully, it’s crucial to have a strong backend development process in place. Here’s what you could do to protect your app’s network connection:
- Have a strong endpoint management system in place along with VPN, TLS and SSL to secure both your app and its network.
- Create encrypted folders to store confidential information.
- Conduct regular penetration testing and risk assessments of the network and ensure the data is secure.
3. Implement the Right Identification, Authorisation and Authentication Process:
Here are some simple ways to make your application authorised, identified and authenticated:
- Make sure the API leveraged by your application is the one that it requires to function smoothly and that it grants access only to those in-focus parts rather than all the functionalities.
- There are innumerable protocols and tools that you could use to identify, authorise and authenticate your app; ensure to follow them right from the app’s development phase.
4. Conduct an All-Inclusive Test of Your Application:
Unlike website applications, the data on the majority of mobile applications is stored locally.
With all the information being saved on devices whose performance, quality and bandwidth keep varying, the threat of it’s security being breached is higher. Apart from this instability aspect, some applications tend to give away data (like device usage, gender, age, etc.) without the users’ consent.
To make sure your customers’ data on the app is protected at all times, here’s what you could do:
- Leverage file-level encryption to secure information on every single file. This is a great way to encrypt at-rest data and ensure it isn’t being read when the app is intercepted.
- Use tools such as ‘Appcelator’ to make sure every mobile data that’s saved locally is encrypted.
Pro Tip: Make key management your top priority; the groundwork of robust algorithms is having a stronger key and certificate.
5. Prepare a Secure API Security Tactic:
Since mobile app development is in close knit with APIs, the biggest way to ensure an application is protected is to make sure its API is secure.
An API transfers information between the cloud, apps and its users. Therefore, every party that’s involved needs to be properly authorised and identified to leverage the data.
Given that APIs are the cornerstone of content, data and app functionality, it’s imperative to make sure it’s protected at all times.
6. Run Regular App Tests:
Regardless of whether it’s a clothing or personalised beer mats application, it’s essential for you to test it not only in terms of its functionality and usability but also from the security standpoint.
There are numerous ways that can help you make sure your application’s secure and quality assured. Here are some steps that can help you test the app:
- Conduct penetration testing, meaning probe the system and network to identify potential weaknesses.
- Leverage emulators to figure out how the application functions in simulated environments.
- Run detailed tests on the app’s session management, data security, authentication and authorisation.
To Sum Up
Well, these were our top 6 ways to help you protect your application right from its development phase to when it’s finally launched – these tips will surely aid in ensuring that your app is never in the limelight (that is, not to open to threats).
Make sure you implement these soon, while you’ve got the time!