In layman terms, a mobile app or application is anything that can be downloaded in a smartphone and then used for various purposes. For instance, when you download an app to book tickets, it is a mobile app that can be used for the purpose.
Talking in the language of technical geeks, a mobile application is a computer program that is specifically designed in such a way that it can be easily accessible on a mobile phone, tablets or smart watches too.
A person who knows how to do a mobile app development is called an app developer. They are the ones who write the backend codes in order to get the application up and running. However, like every good thing can also have an adverse action and implication – likewise, a code written in the best interest can also be reversed and can thus lead to security issues. That is why, whenever an app is developed it goes through multiple checks, and security pass is one major check that a company undergoes before it releases any mobile application in the market. This holds good for all kinds of application and becomes more stringent for apps that involve personal information or payment details.
Well, if you are an app developer, you surely know about these risks. To help you create an appropriate checklist, here are 10 security issues that you shall keep in mind while developing a mobile application –
1. Be aware of the libraries you use
Code building can either be done on a purchased server, or you can use external code builders. In case you are opting for the latter, ensure that you are using secure libraries and buildings. At one go, you may not be able to identify any flaw in the third party library and that is why, it is recommended that you create dummy codes, test them and then go for your final version of mobile app development coding.
2. Ensure to write a secure code
The term ‘secure code’ is used quite often when it comes to uploading or downloading anything from the internet. As app developers, you need to be more stringent and make sure that when you are coding the app, you are using all secure connections and codes. One loose connection and it enters the risk of catching malicious codes or it can be sent to fraudulent coders to misuse the code and application.
3. Make use of the cryptography techniques
Cryptography is a high-end technique to ensure that all your data and information keyed in for the app is secure. However, when you use this, it is important that the reader and coder, both know how to encrypt and decrypt this technique.
4. Testing is the new cool
All app developers surely do one testing of the app, but if you want to get rid of any and all kind of security issues, then, go for repeated testing. Yes, you read it right. There are a lot of security trends that keep evolving over time. With repeated testing, you also make sure that you are compliant with those. One more advantage of repeated testing, it will allow you to fix all other bug issues and minor changes in the app as well.
5. If nothing works, encrypt the data
You may want to use this as your last resort, or as your basic security check – up to you. But, encryption of data has always been an old-school method to ensure that your data is safe and none of the codes that you are transmitting falls in the hands of the wrong hands. When you encrypt, even in case of loss of data, you know that your data and codes are safe because nobody can encrypt it without knowing the codes.
6. Use authorized apps to transmit data
Authorized apps like API for your app coding. When you do this, you are removing all authorization rights for all other developers and hackers to be able to access any data on your behalf. Unless you give authentication to anyone to access the data, nobody can use the information that you are transmitting through the authorized apps.
7. Raise the bar of authentication
When you are in the process of mobile app development, it is always better than you have authentication levels. Either for sign in or at a later stage. When you do this, no user can download the app and use it for other purposes because a part of their personal information is used for application sign in and this information is then stored in the mobile app developer servers.
8. Tamper detection can be used
Remember Gmail – when you sign in from a new device or a new IP address, you receive an email on your backup email saying that there was an unrecognized sign -in? This is a classic example of tamper detection and this helps a lot in case of genuine unauthorized sign-ins.
9. Session expiry is a great way to ensure security
There are a lot of apps and websites that get expired due to inactivity. You can use this as a security checkpoint and code the app in such a way that if there is no activity on the app from more than few minutes, it will get expired and logged out.
10. Fewer privileges for better security of the app
Give security codes only to those who are really authorized to receive them. Also, in case you want to send out a code for sign-in, ensure that you making the code invalid after a few minutes to avoid any misuse of the code if found by anybody else.
The above mentioned are some of the security issues an app developer shall keep in mind. Few of them are while making the app, and a few others are after the app is released in the market for usage. Make the best use of security information and make your readers aware of it too.