As the number of mobile app users keeps growing, so does the increase in mobile app security risks. From data breaches to hacking attempts, it's important to be aware of potential threats and how to mitigate them.
The recently published Check Point 2021 Cyber Security Report presents alarming statistics about the prevalence of mobile application security issues within companies. The report revealed that 46% of the surveyed companies have experienced at least one employee downloading a mobile app that posed severe security risks.
Mobile apps have become integral to our lives, providing convenience and access to information at our fingertips. From ordering food to booking travel, mobile apps have revolutionised how we live, work, and interact with the world. We also rely on them to stay connected with friends and family, manage our finances, and even monitor our health.
With more and more sensitive data being shared through mobile applications, it's crucial to address potential security issues before they become serious threats. In this article, we'll highlight the definition of mobile app security, the top 10 mobile app security issues and provide tips on how to prevent them.
According to G2, mobile app security protects mobile applications from potential digital threats, such as malware and fraudulent activities. This security measure applies to mobile apps running on different platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows.
Since mobile apps often deal with private information, it's essential to stop unauthorised access that could lead to a breach of confidentiality. According to a recent statistic from CleverTap, approximately 71% of fraud transactions happened on mobile apps and browsers. High-risk apps are likely installed on one out of every 36 mobile devices.
These risks come from problems in mobile apps that hackers can exploit. This could be harmful to businesses. So, it's vital to recognise and fix these issues to keep mobile apps safe from possible attacks.
According to Appknox, there are ten issues regarding mobile app security, as follows:
The use of copied code is a frequent occurrence among developers as it can be a time-saving measure. However, it can also expose the code to potential threats, particularly if the code was created by a malicious hacker.
Solution: It's crucial to avoid copying code blindly without first examining each character. Furthermore, it's best to steer clear of downloading frameworks or libraries that aren't created by verified users. Adhering to this mobile app development security best practices can significantly enhance the security of your mobile app.
If you don't validate the data entered by users, your application could be at risk of being hacked. Hackers could input harmful codes or malicious commands that can damage your app if proper validations aren't in place.
Solution: It's essential to validate every input field thoroughly. This can involve checking the data format, length, permissible characters, minimum and maximum value, etc. By doing this, the app will only accept the desired data, thus improving its security.
The way you manage data can greatly affect your app's security. For example, if you're sending or storing data without encryption, it poses a significant security risk. This can allow anyone to access the data and use it for unfair purposes.
Solution: To ensure security in mobile app development, it's important to encrypt all stored and transmitted data. This will make it impossible for hackers to utilise any downloaded data, enhancing the overall security of your app.
When users can set any password they desire within an application, it poses a security risk. This is because hackers attempt various combinations of characters to brute force user passwords and gain access, which is more effective for common and simple passwords.
Solution: It's important to include the following points in your secure mobile app development checklist:
Many developers tend to focus on securing the client side of the application while overlooking server-side security. It's usually leaving confidential data such as credit card information vulnerable, especially if stored on the server.
Solution: To address this, it's recommended to prioritise high-grade encryption and reliable SSL in your mobile app development security best practices. This will significantly enhance server-side security.
Inexperienced developers often make the mistake of hardcoding information like usernames and passwords into their code, which can compromise the security of user information.
Solution: To prevent such issues, it is essential to adopt good coding practices and avoid hardcoding information. However, if you must store information in the app, it is crucial to ensure that it is encrypted to safeguard against potential security breaches.
Saving users' login information in the cache can pose a risk if the device is lost or stolen. If someone gets hold of the device, they can easily access the application and use it maliciously. Although caching helps save time, it is essential to be cautious while caching sensitive data.
Solution: You can add conditions in your mobile app development checklist to prevent caching of confidential data.
The duration of mobile app sessions is usually longer than web app sessions. This is because it enhances user experience and sales, particularly in eCommerce. Nevertheless, this practice can compromise app security if the phone gets stolen, and the session remains active. In such cases, thieves can easily access the information.
Solution: Reauthentication techniques should be integrated. This will prompt the user to log in again to confirm identity before making the final transaction.
Penetration testing is a method of identifying security flaws and vulnerabilities in an application. Research by Informa Tech showed that 69% of 3,000 companies perform penetration testing to prevent data breaches. However, developers sometimes skip this step due to tight deadlines or carelessness. This will lead to security risks for users.
Solution: Always perform multiple penetration tests on your application, regardless of the deadline. This way, you can identify and fix any security issues and ensure safe mobile app development.
The standard procedure dictates that patches and updates should be frequently pushed based on user feedback. However, this is often neglected, resulting in risks to user security and the company's reputation.
Solution: It is recommended that you seek genuine customer feedback once your app is live. Address the feedback by implementing patches, releasing improved versions, and repeating the process. This approach will prevent hackers from taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the previous version and ensure secure mobile app development.
In conclusion, mobile app security is a critical aspect that cannot be overlooked. From coding to the final release, developers need to adopt best practices to enhance the security of their mobile apps.
At VirtualSpirit, we understand the importance of mobile app security. Our team of experts is proficient in developing secure mobile applications that meet industry standards and regulations. When you choose VirtualSpirit for developing your mobile app, you can rest assured that your app will be secure, reliable, and user-friendly. Contact us today!