Mobile App Security: 10 Best Practices for Mobile App Developers

Mobile has become an essential part of our lives today. As a matter of fact, mobiles have become our personal data holder. But, have you ever think about the security of data stored in your mobile? You will be surprised to know that hackers take a fraction of seconds to steal your sensitive information. Undoubtedly, mobile apps make our work much easier, but at the same time, they may bring security risks with them.

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SSL issues, untrusted inputs, data leakages, and insecure data storage are some of the major mobile app security issues that developers must address while providing mobile app development services.

Here is the mobile app security checklist that developers must keep in mind while developing apps.

1. Data Encryption

Data encryption is the process of converting data into another code or form using the encryption algorithm. Encrypted data can be read by only those who have access to the password or a secret key (known as the decryption key). It restricts the hackers from thieving your mobile app data.

2. Write Complex and Secure Code

Malicious code is the biggest threat to app security. Vulnerabilities and bugs in the code give an opportunity for hackers to break into an app. One of the best ways to protect the app from such threats is – write complex and secure code that cannot be reverse engineered. Ensure agility of the code to update it easily. Moreover, verify the download and installation process of the app to test your code.

3. Use Stronger User Authentication

Weak authentication results in security breaches. Thus, it is crucial to implement strong user authentication. As authentication depends on the app users, developers must encourage users to pay heed to this aspect of mobile app security and set up MFA (multi-factor authentication) and 2FA (two-factor authentication).

4. Use Authorized APIs

Poorly coded and unauthorized APIs give hackers a privilege to attack sensitive data easily. According to experts, developers must use centrally authorized APIs to ensure maximum security. A secure API is visible only to the authorized servers, apps, and users and assures confidentiality and integrity of the information.

5. Analyze Vulnerabilities in Third-Party Libraries

Some third-party libraries are highly insecure for the app and may crash the system. It is recommended to be extra mindful with vulnerable libraries and meticulously test the code of third-party libraries before using them in the app. Besides, developers can protect the app from external threats by deploying policy controls and using controlled internal repositories.

6. Implement Anti-Tamper Techniques

Deploy anti-tamper or tamper-detection technologies to get alerts when someone tries to inject malicious code or tamper with your code. These techniques detect and respond to any attempts to reverse-engineer or alter the app code. They also restrict the illegitimate apps from executing.

7. Check App Data Caching

Data can be stored in many ways, such as cookies, web cache and history, log and debug files, SQLite databases, etc. Developers generally overlook the risk associated with these data storage methods. In order to make apps less susceptible to cyber attacks, prevent HTTP caching as well as avoid caching of URL history and page data.

8. Rigorous Testing

Testing the app ensures that it is free of all the potential threats. Developers must perform various testing processes such as exploratory testing, automated testing, regression testing, penetration testing, etc., before the app is rolled out. As new threats keep on emerging with each update, repeated testing lets developers fix them as they are discovered. Testing also helps developers keep the app up-to-date with security patches.

9. Implement Proper Session Handling

Most of the apps use cookies to maintain sessions for users. Predictable or short cookies are more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Hence, make sure that the session cookies are of enough size and also ascertain high-security settings in session configuration.

10. Use the Principle of Least Privilege

Developers must use the principle of least privilege while developing the app. As per this principle, the code must run with the minimum permission that is absolutely required for it to function. It is recommended to perform threat modeling when you update the code and not to make needless network connections.

Security is the key factor in the success of an app. A secured app help organizations bring value to their businesses and customers. That’s why; businesses must not ignore this important aspect and hire experienced mobile app developers who focus on integrating security at each level of enterprise mobile app development.

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