The heavy usage of mobile apps has boosted the growth of the mobile app development sector. Consumers are using mobile apps in every aspect of their day-to-day life. But the rapid growth in the usage of apps has also raised mobile app security concerns. Users are now getting more serious about the security of their privacy while using mobile apps.
And it matters a lot because apps have access to the confidential data of users. It means any data breach or unauthorized access can lead to the loss of sensitive user information.
Therefore, business people who want to develop a secure mobile app and establish their trust and brand reputation in their audience must pay attention to mobile app development security. Here, I will discuss the top 5 mobile app development security concerns that will guide you to ensure your app is fully safe from any type of security threats.
1. Insecure Communication
A mobile app has to exchange tons of data through a client-server model. This data transmission goes through the internet and the user’s mobile device or smartphone’s cellular network. And this is where the hackers may attack.
The exchange of data in the app is a sensitive process. Attackers here can exploit potential vulnerabilities associated with user data. Therefore, you should see what are the potential security issues during the exchange of data in your app. Generally, below are the most common threat agents which may exist in an insecure communication-
- Malicious software on your mobile device or smartphone.
- Any weak source which shares your local network like Wi-Fi.
- Subsequent network devices such as cell towers, routers, etc.
During mobile app development, developers often utilize SSI/TLS only during authentication, not in other places. As a result, it makes the security layer that increases the risk of exposing sensitive mobile app data.
Therefore, having an SSL/TLS does not imply that the mobile application is entirely safe. You have to implement solid security protocols throughout your app.
How to Protect Your App From Insecure Communication?
Developers should create an algorithm that allows a mobile app to establish a secure connection after validating the identity of the endpoint server. Utilize robust and industry-standard cipher suites with suitable encryption key lengths.
Try to use certificates signed by a reliable CA provider and avoid using self-signed certificates. Developers can also add an extra layer of encryption to any sensitive app data or user information before it is assigned to an SSL channel.
2. Weak Input Validation
Input validation is the technical process of verifying input data to make sure it is properly formed. It primarily prevents the malformed data which may contain harmful code or may cause malfunctioning in the app.
When there is weak input validation, it puts the mobile app at risk and opens the doors for potential security breaches. Attackers can easily inject malicious data input and get access to sensitive information in the app.
Generally, the input validation fails due to the lack of strong input validation algorithms. Input validation works as a primary defense wall against external or unauthorized access. So this is where mobile app developers have to pay attention.
How to Make Strong Input Validation?
There are many methods for implementing input validation. Developers can use different programming techniques to enable the effective enforcement of data validation like-
- Checking the range for minimum and maximum value
- Enabling input validation against XML Schema and JSON Scheme.
- Applying an array of approved values for small sets of strong parameters
However, the best way to ensure strong input validation is to only allow well-trusted inputs instead of disallowing bad sources.
3. Weak Data Storage
It is often seen that many app owners are concerned about how much does it cost to develop mobile app since data storage directly affects their overall budget. Therefore, they take this aspect lightly.
But data storage is the most important and sensitive location in a mobile application. It stores all your critical user data and app information. Data storage usually remains at the top of hackers’ choice to penetrate to get access to useful information.
There are many places within your app such as SQL databases, cookie stores, and binary data stores which may contain security vulnerabilities if there is weak encryption in data storage.
If developers miss enabling a strong safety system for data storage, attackers can easily break into the security protocols of the app. Some of the common mistakes made by developers are poor encryption libraries which can be easily broken through jailbreaking techniques.
Failure to ensure strong data storage may lead to the following disasters-
- Payment fraud
- Intellectual property loss
- Identify theft loss
- Privacy loss
- Brand reputation damage
How to Make a Secure Data Storage?
Limit data access to certain actions. In case, if there is a need for exchanging data with other app processes, use a content provider that gives certain read and write-based permissions to other apps with flexible permission access depending on the case-to-case.
Developers can also encrypt local files which may include sensitive data using the security library and decrease the number of permissions in your app.
4. Lack of Strong Encryption
Encryption is the best method to protect any information. It makes data readable only when it is being used with a description key. So when there is poor or low standard encryption in the app, it opens the scope for security breaches. Hackers can easily enter the app and get access to app data.
However, top mobile app development company often implement high-standard encryption techniques into the app. But despite this, there is a chance of a data breach.
Do you know why?
It is because developers enable the robust encryption algorithms but they include the decryption keys in unsafe databases of files which can be easily read by other users or hackers.
How to Make Strong Encryption?
Use the latest encryption algorithms which are considered to be strong security features by the developer community. Also, you can Implement encryption in different layers to make it extremely difficult to find the keys.
5. Insufficient Authorization Controls
Poor authentication process makes the app vulnerable to security threats. If the app has no solid user authentication process, any anonymous users can execute functionalities within the app. As a result, your app may lose critical information.
Besides this, developers often miss implementing strong authentic steps which they could have done earlier. And due to this, the app gets exposed to security breaches. Therefore, developers should focus on making solid authorization controls.
How to Make a Secure Authorization Process?
You can implement the following steps for making a strong authentication and authorization
- Enable multi-factor authentication to verify the user’s identity.
- Allow the authentication requests to be performed on the server-side.
- Apply strong authorization methods like OTP, two-step verification, etc.
The Bottom Line
Mobile app development security is a highly important concern that developers and app founders should take seriously. Since modern users are getting more concerned about their data security and privacy, they expect every mobile app to protect their sensitive information and provide reliable services.
Any security breaches may hamper your brand reputation. Therefore, you should work with the top mobile app development company that follows the industry’s best development practices.
About the Author
Josephine is a mobile app developer at MobileCoderz-a premier mobile app development company that provides high-class app development services to businesses. She has extensive expertise in using the latest technologies to build user-centric mobile apps. Besides this, She likes to go on adventurous tours and do hiking.
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