Mobile applications are going at par and with this rate of growth it is necessary that mobile app developers not only look at providing new and more features to the customers but also the security aspect of the application.
Mobile application security is one of the primary concerns as the data residing within the app can be at danger if proper security controls are not applied while designing an application also due to the mass usage of apps in today’s world mobile application vulnerabilities has increased a lot.
Hackers nowadays are targeting mobile applications to gain access over consumer personal information and details and maliciously use it. Hence developers need to be extra cautious while they build an app for both ios and android platforms.
Here are some of the ways to build a completely secure mobile app:
1. Try to write a secure code
Code is the most vulnerable feature of any mobile application which can be exploited easily by the hackers. Hence it is essential that you write a highly secure code. According to research about 11.6 millions devices are being affected by malicious code.
The hackers can reverse engineer your app code and use it in a bad way, so try to build a hard code not so easy to break and follow agile development so that you can patch and update your code easily time to time. Some of the other best practices are code hardening and signing in order to develop best quality of code.
2. Encrypt the data
Encryption is the way to convert the data transmitting in to such a form that it cannot be read by anyone else without decryption. This is an efficient way to save the data from being used in a malicious way.
So even if the data is stolen the hackers cannot decrypt it and is of no use to them. Try to develop an app in such a way that all the data included in the app is encrypted very well, this is one of the practices.
3. Be careful while using libraries
Often the mobile app code needs the third party libraries for the code building. Do not trust any library for your app building as most of them are not secure. When you have used various kinds of libraries always try to test the code.
The flaws in the library can allow the attackers to use malicious code and crash the system.
4. Use authorized API
Always remember to use authorized API in your app code. It always gives hackers privilege to use your information for example authorization information caches can be used by the hackers to gain authentication on the system.
Experts recommend having a central authorization for the entire API to gain maximum security in the mobile applications.
5. Use high level authentication
Authentication mechanisms are the most crucial part of the mobile application security. Weak authentication is one of the top vulnerabilities in the mobile apps. As a developer and a user authentication should be considered important from security point of view.
One of the most common modes of authentication is through password so password policy should be strong enough so that it cannot be broken easily.
Multi factor authentication is one more method to make your app more secure this can be achieved by the means of OTP login or authentication code on mails and even more secure is through biometrics.
6. Develop tamper detection techniques for your app
This method is to get alerts when your code is being modified or changed. Often it is essential to have log of code changes of your mobile app so that the malicious programmer do not inject bad code in your application. Try to have triggers designed for your application to keep logs of activities.
7. Provide least privileges
The principle of least privilege is often necessary for your app code security. It is preferable to give access to the code to only those who are intended to receive them rest all should not be given the privileges keeping it minimum. Try to keep the network as less as possible.
8. Have proper session management
Session handling is an important feature in app building which needs extra precaution as the sessions on mobile are usually longer than the desktop session.
Hence session management should be done to maintain the security in case of stolen and lost devices and it should be done with the help of tokens rather than identifiers.
The app should also have facility of remote wipe off and log off to protect data of lost devices.
9. Use of good cryptography tools and techniques
Key management is an important step when it comes to encryption of your data so make sure that you do not hard core your encryption keys.
Use good protocols for encryption such as AES and SHA256 and never store your keys on local devices. Use the latest and trusted encryption methods.
10. Test repeatedly
A very simple solution for the app is to test repeatedly for the new changes as security aspects are changing day by day and so you need to be updated with the security trends in order to protect your application.
You should opt for penetration testing and emulators to get an idea about the vulnerabilities in your mobile application so that they can be further reduced. Try to make use of the security patches in your mobile application with each of the new update and version released.
These were some of the best practices that a mobile app developer must follow in order to have a fully secure difficult to crack application. In the recent years cyber security has proven its importance and clients are now interested in more secure application to rely upon.
In the near future security will act as one of the differentiating and competing in the app world with customers preferring secure apps to maintain privacy of their data over other mobile applications.