Security is a crucial component to designing mobile apps people want to download. Not only does it make it better for your business, but it is also crucial for you to consider the data you’re handling, the safety of your users and any possible things that might go wrong when your app is out in the ecosystem.
Smartphones are no longer simple devices—that is, if they ever were. Individuals essentially place their entire lives on these devices, including sensitive information that can help malicious people hijack identities and property. In other words, smartphones are a gold mine for the greedy and those with ill intent.
GPS functions, encrypted messages, bank apps, passwords, personal files…the list goes on. As an app developer, you might have requested access to some parts of the phone’s functionalities, and you’re probably storing some information yourself. It’s your duty to make your mobile app the most secure it can be.
According to a survey from Ponemon Institute, only half of mobile app developers test their apps for security issues before unleashing them into the public, and a third never test them at all. To say the very least, this is problematic.
There are many ways to go about testing your app for these issues, and there are several vulnerabilities for you to look out for. Here are a few key ones to get you started. Remember, a huge part of customer service is being there for the people you serve—and how are they going to trust you if you don’t put their safety as your top priority?
Make sure, first of all, that your code is protected. Require high-caliber credentials for those who must access the code, and monitor where and when people are logging in to view and edit it.
This will prevent several problems, such as reverse engineering, which is when hackers take apart the code you wrote and make alterations to the scripts that target its central parts. The hacker can also gain access to critical information, pretend to be your company or even steal from you through this system.
You also need to pay attention to how and where you are storing your data. Pay attention to how your operating system and framework are handling cached data and user interactions.
Also keep an eye out for your encrypted information. If you’re using the wrong kind of encryption, or if your encryption credentials are predictable, your safety might be compromised. In order to prevent this, do extensive testing, and make sure your keys are complex enough to stump the malicious.
Above everything else, you need to keep this one thing in mind: you can never test your mobile app too much. It’s easy to remember testing if your app works, because that’s immediately visible by the people who are using the app. However, what’s going on under the hood can pose a significant threat. If you don’t patch up these holes, you might be putting yourself in danger. Better safe than sorry!