You are reading this because you have a mobile application for your business or are planning to get one. You are on the right track. A mobile app brings many benefits to your business; no wonder most businesses have invested significant resources and time in them.
We all know that mobile usage has increased globally, sparking an increase in app downloads. This means that having a mobile application takes your business to global realms. Soon, you will start realizing high sales, revenues and profits.
But you also need to be careful when handling your mobile application. Our world is where data breaches are the order of the day, and your app is not immune to them.
It could be the pathways that take hackers and attackers into your business. Therefore, mobile application security should remain a critical element of your business. This article will explore some of the mobile app security best practices you should have for your mobile app.
Tips and Measures to Secure Your Mobile application
The following are some mobile application security measures you can use to protect your mobile application against cybersecurity threats.
Apply Code Security
Code security is essential, and to secure it; Code signing certificates are the cornerstones of mobile application security. A code signing certificate is a digital certificate that lets users know that the mobile application they are downloading is genuine.
Through encryption, the certificate will ensure that the code behind the application is not altered or defrauded by malicious third parties. In addition, the certificate plays other security roles, such as preventing your app from malware infusion.
So let us say that code signing certificates and mobile applications are a match made in heaven. No matter the type of application you are using, you need a code signing certificate.
Talking about getting a code signing certificate- there are two types of code signing certificates you must know. They are standard code signing certificates and EV code signing certificates. Also, note that you do not have to spend an arm and a leg buying a certificate since a cheap code signing certificate can do an excellent task for you.
Data is the most sought-after component by hackers. Therefore, data held on your mobile application is an excellent asset to your business and must be protected at all costs.
However, take a second to think about the repercussion your business will incur if your data lands in unsafe hands. You will probably end up with a trail of legal lawsuits on your shoulders and severe financial and reputation damages. So the big question is how to secure data held on your mobile application.
Data encryption is an excellent way to secure your mobile application’s data. Encryption is a technique of scrambling plain text data into a fake and undecipherable gibberish that no one can understand. So even if data is stolen, hackers cannot read or understand the data; hence data remains secure. There are several methods of encrypting data on mobile applications. They include; Elliptic curve cryptography, HMAC, hashing, digital signature or use of SSL certificates. You can understand the weight data encryption carries when organizations like the NSA and the FBI ask permission to decrypt WhatsApp or iPhone messages. And if such organizations can have difficulty decrypting data, hackers will have a hard time too.
Enforce Strong Authentication
One of the leading causes of security breaches is weak authentication. Such authentications give hackers an easy time to pass through. You have no choice but to use strong authentications to protect yourself and your app resources from the data breaches that result from weak authentications.
Authentication refers to personal identifiers like passwords and other authentication factors that act as a barrier against unauthorized entries. It would be best if you encouraged your app users only to use strong authentication factors.
For instance, your app should only allow for the use of strong and unique passwords. For example, the passwords should be long enough (not below eight characters), be used only once, and combine multiple characters such as numbers, symbols and letters.
Users should also be encouraged to use two-factor authentications such as secret words and codes, biometric authentication, and one-time passwords. In summary, the more robust your authentication is, your mobile app will be more secure.
Frequent Penetration Testing
Detecting loopholes and vulnerable spots in your mobile application is a necessity. However, it is not easy to know the source of vulnerabilities in your app unless you conduct frequent penetration tests and thorough quality assessments of the applications.
Penetration testing should start before deployment and be done during all phases of the app development lifecycle. Such tests help to unearth the sources of vulnerabilities before attackers discover them.
Furthermore, all loopholes uncovered during penetration testing should be sealed before they can grow to become bigger and more dangerous.
Security for Data-in-transit
You and your app users will need to exchange some information over the app. Data-in-transit is vulnerable to several forms of attacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks. Your app should have the tools and measures to protect itself against such attacks.
The SSL certificate will convert raw-text data into ciphertext and conceal it from being accessed by unauthorized parties. You can also use a virtual private network that will create an encryption tunnel between your end and your users’ end and prevent external forces from accessing the data as it travels between the two ends.
Be Keen With Third-Party Libraries
I understand the urge inside you to use third-party libraries. Yes, third-party libraries can give your code excellent functionalities and more features. But you must be keen when doing so. You must test your code extensively before you start using third-party libraries. Insecure third-party libraries could do more harm than good to your mobile application. So remain vigilant when using them.
Conduct Frequent Data Backups
Even with the mobile application security practices mentioned above, your application is still not safe from mobile app security threats. You never know when hackers will succeed in their quest to infiltrate your mobile app security walls. And you are bound to lose a lot of data if they do.
This is why you should have an alternative plan just in case hackers succeed. And the best strategy here is to have a backup system. Backing up your data is an essential post-attack defence strategy.
It also helps to shield your app against unplanned risks such as data losses. As the best strategy, ensure you back up your data from time to time and create a reliable data restore plan to have your application up and running after a successful attack.
Having a mobile app is a great thing for your business. But having a secure mobile application is even better. Attackers are shifting their attention to mobile applications. As a result, the burden of securing mobile apps now lies on app owners and developers. This article has explained some of the best measures to ensure your mobile application against cybersecurity threats. It would be great to use multiple steps. The more security walls you have, your mobile application will be secure.