Mobile app security might not be the one thing users think about when they install an app on their smartphones. However, mobile application security is something that everyone should be aware of.
An unsafe mobile application can compromise users’ devices, leaving the door open for criminals to use malware that can access sensitive data and do other things like steal passwords and read emails.
Mobile apps need to guarantee users a secure environment. To do this, mobile app security experts need to consider the industry’s strictest standards.
Throughout the mobile app development process, developers need to adhere to strict Quality Assurance and DevOps practices and perform rigorous security testing on the source code and the app itself. It is always a good idea to follow security guidelines for iOS and Android.
Important Mobile Application Security Standards
Mobile apps are central to our modern lives. In addition, many people give mobile applications intimate access to their mobile devices. As a result, mobile application security needs to be taken seriously by everyone, from businesses that develop and sell mobile applications to the users that download and use them.
Mobile security goes beyond mobile application security testing. However, mobile application security testing is still a critical part of mobile app security and is vital at detecting potential vulnerabilities and security issues.
Take a look at the infographic below to get a better understanding of all the components that protect mobile applications. Mobile app security work is multi-faceted and vital to the development of secure mobile applications.
With this infographic, you will understand some of the most important aspects of mobile app security to consider.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the mobile application security standards covered in the above infographic to give your organization more information and context about the most pressing security issues mobile apps must address.
Let’s start with the most obvious step, mobile application security testing. There are several ways to approach a mobile app security test, and in all honesty, your mobile applications should be vigorously tested using all available tests and security tools to prevent mobile malware from infiltrating the user’s device and compromising private data.
Data theft is one of the biggest threats to users and businesses. To protect data, you must use every testing method you can, from penetration testing to static and dynamic application testing. Security features are great, but mobile apps need to be tested consistently to ensure that security remains strong.
Writing strong code is also vital to mobile security. Poor code is one of the most difficult security challenges to overcome because the code is the foundation of mobile apps. One thing all secure applications have in common is a strong code base.
Your mobile app should not be using code that can be easily compromised or susceptible to reverse engineering. Runtime application self-protection tools can be utilized to detect and block malicious attacks in real time, but these tools are not a substitute for writing good code.
You should only be using authorized APIs in your mobile applications. You wouldn’t download software from third-party app stores to your mobile device. Don’t include unauthorized APIs in your application. Doing so can seriously compromise security.
Authorized APIs are clearly labeled as such. If you are unsure whether an API is official or not, contact the provider or visit their website and review the available documentation. For example, the Airbnb API is highly coveted and access is extremely limited. You will know if you have access to the official API.
Don’t cut corners with unauthorized APIs.
Development libraries make developing mobile apps a lot easier. However, just like APIs, you should always know where your libraries are coming from and ensure that they are legitimate tools. There are a lot of opportunities for bad actors to try and compromise your organization’s sensitive data.
Using untrustworthy development libraries can give hackers a backdoor through your mobile application security measures. Only use trusted libraries and development tools. There are an abundance of such tools and libraries available.
Encourage your users to utilize strong authentication methods. Strong authentication protocols ensure that only legitimate users gain access to account information and other critical data. You can’t force users to adopt strong two-factor authentication methods, but as an app developer, you can make it easier to implement these methods.
For example, many applications make it easy for users to log in with biometric authentication features like a face scan. If you reduce the barriers to using these strong authentication technologies, more users will adopt them and the security of your application will be stronger.
Data that is in motion between devices or users should be encrypted. When data is moving it is the most vulnerable to theft. Data encryption ensures that any data that is lost is useless to the hacker who stole it.
Encryption is just one way you can protect data. There are other techniques like tokenization that can also be utilized. Depending on the type of data you are protecting and the industry you operate within, encryption might not be enough to remain compliant with regulations.
Your application should regularly be updated to ensure vulnerabilities are addressed and risks are mitigated. Patches are an important part of mobile app security. Application patches and security updates are typically a part of maintenance and support services.
Don’t overlook the importance of regular maintenance and support as your application ages. Every OS, application, or software requires regular updates to address emerging threats or discovered vulnerabilities. Failing to update your app will drastically affect its overall security.
Your application’s security protocols should be aligned to its architecture. This is a simple best practice, but you would be surprised how many apps don’t follow this simple guidance. All security measures should be aligned with the foundational structure of your application.
It doesn’t make sense to implement security measures that don’t address the technical nature of your application.
Mobile app security is critical to businesses. Modern consumers expect mobile solutions, but poor security can damage your brand identity and put your business at a competitive disadvantage. If you want to learn more about mobile app security, contact an experienced app development partner like Koombea.