There are multitudes of mobile applications everywhere, with each designed to solve a particular need or make life simple. And that need could be to ensure that communication, tracking fitness, online shopping, and financial transactions or even to work remotely, a breeze. At least, each one of us has one or more of these apps on our mobile devices. However, the security of these apps is of utmost importance to the user and the developer.
Simply put, you are at high risk if you don’t secure your mobile app. So, follow these steps to keep your mobile app secured.
Make app code harder to reverse engineer
This one is for the app developer. Like every other software development project, mobile application security should be a top priority, starting from the first day the project kicks-off. Have in mind that you are not dealing with a web app in which the software and data are well-secured on the client-side and server. You are dealing with a mobile application where malware can exploit the bugs in the code or design of the app, so if not adequately secured, hackers can have their way.
The mobile malware gives hackers the opportunity to get a public copy of a mobile application. And once it gets to them, hackers can reverse engineer and repackage the app for users to download without knowing.
It is crucial for developers to make their mobile applications more difficult for hackers to reverse engineer or take advantage of other vulnerabilities.
But while putting measures in place to secure your mobile app, consider battery usage, runtime memory and other features that can affect the app’s performance.
Here are simple tips to follow:
- Run source code scanning or test code to know if there is a vulnerability before releasing the app
- Make the code more difficult to read by encrypting it. Use well-supported algorithms and API encryption that guarantees improved security.
- Ensure the secured code is easy to patch and update when the need arises.
Don’t keep users in the dark
There are many ways hackers can gain access through a mobile app. It doesn’t necessarily have to be through their device. Hackers can gain access to your mobile application when you log in to your app using a compromised or malware infected device. It happens a lot. Users can also encounter the same thing from a brand new device too.
It is risky for users to access an essential app via another device. The device in question could be a compromised one without you knowing. Also, a good security measure on the part of the developer can help protect the user from hackers by informing them of their logging in details. For example, Dropbox and Google send such notification, and this helps to checkmate unauthorized access to any account.
Secure your device
The security of mobile applications is a two-way thing; both the developer and the user have a role to play. Users need to ensure their devices are secured and have the right anti-virus installed to prevent viruses or malware from attacking their apps and stealing valuable information.
One also needs to take precaution when downloading mobile apps to avoid security issues. It is best to download mobile apps from trusted and verified sources such as authorized app stores and not just any other website. Also, it is not safe to use a rooted or jailbroken device as this takes off the built-in security apparatus that your device has.
Introduce voluntary authentication
Authentication can also help to protect mobile applications from unauthorized access. Mobile app developers can introduce a two-step authentication and make it optional, so whoever needs it can have access.
Most mobile apps also use the one-time password to provide extra security for users. When accessing the mobile app, the authentication code is sent to the user’s registered mobile phone or email and is required to gain access into the app. However, mobile developers can introduce this additional layer of security which involves the use of an OTP. But it is advisable to make it optional because many users will not be comfortable sharing their phone numbers on such occasion.
Take data encryption serious
A mobile app built to store sensitive information of users’ such as their location, personal details, health status and so on, are at high risk of being hacked. Even when you store such data in the cloud, hackers can still gain access if you don’t use the right measures to protect your data.
The advice here is to encrypt every single detail users provide or feeds via the mobile app. You need to ensure that their addresses, emails, phone numbers, and all other sensitive information are well-encrypted. Even when your data is compromised, it will be difficult for hackers to have access to sensitive data of users.
Everyone needs to be extremely careful about the security of their mobile application. Both the user and developer need to be because time is changing, technology is advancing, and hackers are becoming smarter as the day goes by. They are also looking for loopholes to access sensitive information of users. So, ensure you don’t create one while developing your mobile app. Users also need to be extremely careful and not exposing themselves to hackers. The tips above will help you protect your mobile apps and stay safe online.
Sebastian Miller is a young writer and an SEO specialist. He also works with Thesis Rush as a writer. Miller is a renowned specialist in website design and search engine optimization.