Mobile App Security has become one of the most crucial aspects to judge an app’s performance and credibility on. The growing number of mobile apps have become an open playground for the hackers and malicious users to experiment in. With our industry oozing with data breach and security related issues, no app whether in the banking or gaming category is safe.
So how do you ensure that your app remain safe even after being in the sea of attackers and hacking incidents?
As a brand that has developed over 300 apps, we frequently get queries under our Mobile App Strategic Consultancy Service, from brands that are looking for a solution to make their app more secure and tamper proof. In this article, we will look at the various elements that not just impact your mobile app security but also when missed, brings your app face to face to a malicious attack.
Here I have put together a list of elements (read them as guide to developing secure apps) that impact Mobile Application Security to a great extent. Keeping an eye out for them can take your mobile app to the list of ones that are hack and breach proof.
Let’s go through to those factors –
1. SSL Related Issues
More often than not, developers don’t get in depth of application of SSL, leaving its implementation faulty. The lack of a proper transport layer protection gives an open space to the hackers to exploit an app’s content.
2.Unsafe Data Storage
At times, developers rely on client storage for the data, but a single data breach can lead to events that would make the data accessible, easily manipulated, and misused. All of this can directly lead to identity theft, external policy violation, and reputation damage.
3.Missing Binary Protection
In case of missing binary protection, any third party person can reverse engineer the app’s code and inject virus or even redistribute a pirated version of the app with an added threat. This can be avoided by employing binary hardening techniques in the application development stage.
4.Improper Session Handling
Session Handling or management refers to the strategy that will be followed when the user has left the app for a long period and has even switched from the mobile application. While having a long session time is linked to better user experience, the move can be very dangerous if the phone is lost and the session has not been logged out of.
5.Choice of Platform
Choice of Platform that you are planning to base your app on – Android or iOS, also comes with a series of limitations and advantages. Both the operating systems come with their series of provisions related to password support, encryption support, geo-location data support, etc. that affects not just the app performance but also its security level.
Read: Comparison between iOS and Android on the basis of which platform is more secure.
6.Not Integrating MAM/MDM
A number of organizations are now integrating Mobile Device Management and Mobile App Management solutions to mitigate threats related to app and device. By integrating them in Enterprise Apps, brands can regulate distribution, remotely wipe app in case of threats, and even add multiple security levels.
Broken Cryptography issue arises because of incorrect implementation or bad encryption. It can also happen because of full dependance on the built-in encryption process, the usage of insecure algorithms, etc. The best way to avoid this is by using superior level of encryption protocols and a strategic implementation process that helps perform proper encryption.
All the communication that happens between an app and its user happens on the server, which makes servers one of the most targeted platforms. There are a number of precautions that you can take to ensure that the server is protected. But one of the most used ones is Automated Scanner. By using an automated scanner, you can find out the loopholes that the hackers can enter your mobile app from.
At times, the app data is located or stored on insecure locations on the devices, places which are easily accessible by other applications or users. This may lead to breach of data security, which leads to unauthorized data usage.
10.Missing Multi-factor Authentication System
When you are aiming to make your mobile app as secure as it come, do not rely on any single authentication system, whether pin number or pattern drawing. It pays to have a multifactor authentication system in place. By adding another security layer such as motion sensor or biometric scan, the app comes a lot secure to becoming more secure.
To make their apps superior to those they are competing against, brands generally allows offline mode of app usage. The loopholes that offline mode comes with are generally ignored by the developers. In the offline medium, apps are normally unable to differentiate between users and might allow users with less permission to perform actions, which are usually only accessible to the admin level app users.
12.Improper IPC Mechanism
Mobile apps maintain interaction between the server and users with the help of Inter Process Communication methodology. By intercepting the data, hackers can introduce malware or steal information. There are a number of methods that you can apply to avoid this breach: avoid sharing sensitive information via the IPC mechanism, have strict input validation, and restricted access to the IPC communication module.
13.Absence of Source Code Encryption
In the absence of proper Source Code Encryption, a learned malicious user can Access the IP, identify the vulnerabilities in the code and affect the experience of every user that has installed the app.
The only solution to this issue is keeping your code a secret. This the reason why we add encryption for every code we use in the mobile app. We use processes like minification and obfuscation, which makes it difficult to interpret the information.
14.Type of Data being Stored
Apart from checking where your app is storing users’ data – debug file, web history, cache, cookies, SQLite database, you should also know that information your app is storing. See if the data you are storing is even necessary for easy flow in the app or it can be avoided.
A huge amount of data gets transmitted from one point to another using APIs. You will have to ensure that these APIs have been authorized and verified for accessing the data.
So here are the 15 elements that can affect your mobile app’s security. Unsure of how to cross these elements out? Contact our Team of App Security Specialists, today.
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