Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives now. For every small task, there is an app for that. Further more, there are many startups that take the lead in mobile app development.
When there is a surge in the number of apps, shouldn’t we care about the security provided by these applications? Or if you are a developer, are your apps secure from hackers who just bought most of the popular websites down last week?
Here are the top 5 things that a mobile developer should not do to ensure security of their apps.
1. Do not let the operating system handle the security
Operating systems like Android and iOS does have security built-in to it. But that might not be enough for your app.
They have their own limitations in providing security. Yes, they would protect you from all the known threats. What if the threat is something no one imagined of?
Now you might be thinking on how to provide security to threats that are not known, right? Actually you can’t, no one can. But we all could add some security features in addition to platform features so that even if one is compromised, the other is in place. A mobile developer should not do only the development part. He also is responsible for the data that is transmitted via his app. Sometimes choosing a good data store server can make a big difference.
2. The level of encryption
Encrypting the data in your app is very good thing you can do while building data-sensitive apps. But what if it can be cracked easily?
Using a weak encryption is not any better than no encryption at all. Make sure you use a strong encryption in place that cannot be cracked by bruteforce easily.
Also, do not use outdated encryption techniques as they already would have flaws.
3. Being a copycat
Most of the developers at some point would head over to stackoverflow to find solutions to problems. This is an important that a mobile developer should not do as there are lot of suboptimal code in the forum.
It is OK to get other’s ideas, but not code. Because the other person might not have thought about the security aspect while writing code.
It is always better to start from scratch and build security right from the start. Security is not something that can be added at the end of development.
Even if you are picking codes online, verify it’s authenticity and make sure it does not affect other functions of your app which could leak data.
4. Multi-app environment
Nowadays, all the smartphones support for multitasking and so multiple apps run simultaneously. This means that all the apps are in memory at a point of time.
So, we also need to ensure that other apps cannot access information in our application. Because if some malicious app is installed in the device, it could take data from all the running applications and send it to the hacker directly.
Similarly, as the data is cached in memory in order to run apps faster, we also need to ensure that no sensitive data is stored in such a way. Even if we are storing some data, it should be encrypted with a good encryption algorithm.
5. Ignoring Security Testing
Security tests should be mandated to ensure there are no data leaks in the application. Developers can also open the app to testers and collect logs so that it becomes easy to understand the entire flow of the data.
If your app is making use of some kind of hardware such as the sensors, camera or microphone, additional checks should be done as issues in such things would hinder the entire user experience.
This is not it. There will be more and more security issues that come up each day. Make sure you provide updates on a regular basis to ensure security to your users.
If you have anything to addon to the above, please drop a comment below.