How to Build a Secure Mobile Application?

Creating a secure mobile application requires a lot of interlinked procedures. Security for an app is not a feature per se; it is one of the necessities. Even a simple breach can downturn your entire company and cost you your reputation in addition to the millions of dollars that go down the drain. On this account, app security should be the principal priority from the start.

Cybersecurity risks and breaches have been making their way in the digital world and cybercrimes have increased so much that it has become an illegal yet multimillion industry now. If you look closely at your smartphone and your dependability over it, you would realize how it has gotten all your details and if a cybercriminal breaks in, all your personal information would be up for grabs.

As a developer, you need to be cautious when building mobile apps. All the technical aspects of your app or in general depend on the internet, and so make sure that you have a secure connection that cannot be penetrated by any outside source. For this matter, the first and most basic step is working on a secure network – it does not matter if you are a sole developer or are working with a group of developers, you need to be on an internet network that exudes security. As per customer and expert reviews, Spectrum packages really work well in terms of internet speeds, security, and affordability for individuals and businesses.

Once you are on a secure network, make sure to take care of the following security points:

1. Write a secure source code

The vulnerabilities that you might miss in the source code can be the initiation point for security risks. Cybercriminals will try to use these points as a way to break into your application and if they get their hands on the public copy of your app, they can reverse engineer your code and then damage it. According to a detailed study, almost 11.6 million mobile devices are being affected by malicious coding at any said time.

All this information points to the direction that keeping your source code protected should always be your priority. Make sure to minify and obfuscate your source code so that cybercriminals cannot reverse engineer it. Test as much as possible and fix any possible vulnerabilities immediately. Furthermore, design your source code in a way that is easy to patch and update. Use the techniques of code signing and code hardening.

2. Encrypt your data

Encryption is the key to securing your application. All data that is being sent and received on and through your app should be encrypted. Encryption changes the sequence of your data in a way that it cannot be deciphered by anyone except those with the key, and so when enabled, cybercriminals will not be able to read your data and subsequently misuse it.

To understand the power of encryption, just know that NSA and FBI are also found to be asking permission to access WhatsApp messages, which means that even they cannot break in willfully.

3. Always work with authorized APIs

Unauthorized APIs are loose codes that let cybercriminals enter through your app, unintentionally. If authorization info is cached, developers can easily reuse it for API calls. On the other hand, it provides cybercriminals a loophole through which they can enter the app and take over privileges. Professional experts reiterate the importance of API authorization in order to maximize security.

4. Increase your authentication level

Most security breaches occur due to poor authentication levels, and so it has become fairly important to work with stronger authentication.

Authentication means personal identifiers and passwords that act as entry barriers. We know that most of the onus of authentication depends on the end-user, however, as a developer it is your responsibility to encourage end-users to understand and act on authentication.

For this matter, you can design your app in a way that only accepts strong passwords preferably alphanumeric, and that needs to be renewed after some specific time interval. Also, multi-factor authentication like 2FA (two-factor authentication) is being promoted in most apps to ensure supreme security levels. For overly important and sensitive applications, biometric authentication (fingerprints or retina scanning) can also be used.

5. Work with the principle of least privilege

So for those who are not familiar, the principle of least privilege states that your code should run with the permissions that it needs only and nothing more. Your app code should not ask for any privileges other than the minimum ones required for functioning. For example, if you do not require absolute access to a user’s contacts, you should not ask for it. Likewise, making network connections unnecessarily should not be a practice. The permissions and privileges that you ask for should depend solely on the specifics of your app and nothing more, and therefore you should perform threat modeling continuously while updating your app code.

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