Mobile App Security Implementation

Mobile App Security Implementation

A number of studies suggest that users nowadays spend over 50% of their digital media time on mobile apps. Likewise, a steady increase is being noted in the number of enterprises implementing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Hence, users nowadays use mobile apps to access, store, and share both personal and corporate data. But the cyber criminals have been creating advanced malware to access data or exploit users to earn money.

Many cyber criminals even use mobile apps as an efficient tool to distribute malware and execute targeted security attacks. A business can combat security attacks by undertaking mobile app security implementation. The security policy needs to focus on keeping user data secure and preventing emerging security attacks. But often enterprises find it daunting to implement a comprehensive mobile app security strategy. An entrepreneur must focus on some key factors to improve data security and address varying security problems.

Key Factors to Focus During Mobile App Security Implementation

Existing and Evolving Security Threats

There are many instances when the top free and paid apps in Apple’ App Store and Google’s Play Store has been hacked. Hence, each mobile app is vulnerable to a variety of security attacks. While making a mobile app security strategy, an enterprise must explore ways to prevent both existing and evolving security attacks. It must gather information about various sources to understand the intention and approach malware writers. Also, the strategy must emphasize on testing the mobile app frequently to measure its effectiveness to combat the existing and emerging security threats. Here are some security aspects to consider while developing Android apps.

Security of the Application Code

Often malware writers use innovative techniques to take control of a mobile device and access sensitive user data. But they always execute the malware attacks by taking advantage of the vulnerabilities in the mobile app. While developing a mobile app, an enterprise must review and evaluate the app code rigorously to eliminate such vulnerabilities. It can even strengthen the security of the mobile app by disabling script injection, restricting copy-and-paste actions, and restricting malicious content. At the same time, it is also important to implement different levels of authentication and store all data in encrypted format.

User Authentication

An enterprise must implement multiple levels of authentication when it allows employees to bring and use their own devices. The mobile app security strategy needs to ensure that the corporate data is accessed only by authorized users by implementing secure authentication methods for the app. Likewise, the strategy must persuade users to create strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication. The multi-factor authentication improves data security significantly by combining different authentication channels. An enterprise can even consider using third-party solutions to strengthen mobile user authentication.

Data Storage

Nowadays, many professionals use mobile apps to access and store corporate data. Hence, they store both business and personal data on their mobile devices. The mobile app security strategy must persuade users to delete all unnecessary corporate data from their devices after use. Likewise, it must explore ways to secure data storage. For instance, an enterprise can easily prevent data loss and manipulation by making the app store data in a secure online location. Likewise, the app must encrypt all data to prevent unauthorized data access. The option will help the enterprise to reduce data loss risk if a mobile device is lost or stolen. At the same time, a business must include remote device wiping functionality in the mobile app to prevent corporate data misuse and manipulation.

Server Communication

The mobile app security strategy of an organization must prevent employees to access the enterprise app or corporate data on jailbroken devices to eliminate security threats. But it still needs to focus on keeping the communication between the mobile app and server secure. A business can easily prevent cyber criminals from intercepting data stream by using secure server connections. It can further keep the data secure during transmission by implementing virtual private network (VPN) connectivity. The VPN connectivity will keep all data secure during transmission even when the app is accessed by users over an unsecured network or connection.

User Input

While implementing multiple levels of user authentication, mobile app developers often hide certain fields, values or functionality to low level users. But the cyber criminals can take advantage of the hidden fields or functionality if the implementation is weak. Many attackers even execute security attacks by using these hidden functionalities as vulnerabilities. The mobile app security strategy must implement strict user input validation to prevent such security attacks. Also, an enterprise must avoid inter process communication (IPC) mechanism to prevent cyber criminals from accessing information or introducing malware. It uses IPC; the business needs to make user interaction a prerequisite for performing any action through IPC entry points.

Session Management

Many businesses nowadays improve their apps’ user experience by extending user sessions. Some online retailers even extend user sessions to improve their customers’ buying experience. But they often ignore the significance of ending a session when a user closes the mobile app. When a session does not end when a user abandons the app, it becomes easier for hackers to control the session and manipulate sensitive data. The mobile app security strategy must explore ways to prevent security threats without shortening user sessions. For instance, it can make the user authenticate his identity again before accessing sensitive corporate data or performing important actions.

Preventing Security Attacks

In addition to keeping the corporate and personal data secure, the mobile app security strategy also needs to detect and prevent new security threats. A number of studies suggest that it is common for new malware to inherit a very large percentage of code from existing malware. An enterprise can use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to predict security breaches by understanding the new malware’s action and behaviour. The artificial intelligence technologies further help enterprises to resolve common data security issues and maintain user privacy. An enterprise can further follow the ways various start-ups are using artificial intelligence to improve mobile app security.

However, enterprises must remember that mobile app security is a continuous process. They must include robust security features in the mobile app to improve data security. Likewise, they need to review the mobile app security strategy regularly to address emerging security issues and prevent new security attacks. They also need to conduct security testing of apps properly.

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