In a time when data breaches are affecting businesses from small startups to enterprises, mobile security is more important than ever. In fact, not having the right security measures in place can mean the difference between your mobile app thriving or facing a serious setback. Cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated with each passing day, so it’s critical that you cover your bases when implementing security measures for your mobile application.
The good news is that the latest technology provides several great ways to keep your app and its data on lockdown. We’ve created a mobile app security checklist to help you make sure you have all the mobile security features you need to prevent harmful breaches.
The Right Security Protocol
One of the most important security measures is the HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) tag. The last letter of this acronym represents a secure iteration of HTTP, meaning it ensures that communication can occur safely over computer networks. Without the S, HTTP has no encryption, validation or verification, and that situation paves the way for attackers to spy on users and potentially breach a system.
This type of protocol uses encryption known as Transport Layer Security (TLS) works alongside Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to ensure the privacy and sanctity of the data that is transmitted across a server and application. The technology behind TLS helps to complete a number of security measures, including validating a server’s identity, verifying the authenticity of communications, and encrypting transmitted content. In fact, HTTPS encrypts everything from databases to files on a server to emails, hard drives and more.
There is plenty of malware that targets vulnerabilities found in an application’s code. Criminals can attain a public copy of an app and reverse-engineer it. They can then steal the code and re-publish it as rogue apps with malicious code, placing them on third-party app stores. Some users will then install the rogue app instead of the correct one, thus compromising their devices. That’s why it’s critical that you encrypt the source code of your mobile app, also known as code obfuscation.
With code obfuscation, developers can encrypt either part of the code or the whole thing while also concealing or paring out any metadata that could share information about the code. This method of defense makes it virtually impossible for cybercriminals to read app code.
Other Forms of Encryption
Encrypting the app’s source code is helpful, but there are other facets of a mobile app that need protection. Because data is often stored on users’ mobile devices, you also need to encrypt that data. Certain modules can encrypt this data at both a file and database level. Doing so maintains the sanctity of the user experience by ensuring that data stored on the mobile device can’t be compromised. Hosting mobile apps on the cloud rather than locally also helps to eliminate this issue.
You also should protect the transmission of data from the client to the servers. SSL encryption is an effective form of protection when transmitting data and a virtual private network (VPN) helps users send and receive data in a more private manner. The combination of these forms of encryption for files, databases and the transmission of data is key to maintaining a secure app.
Managing an App’s Cache
The purpose of a cache is to remember data when it is saved in the app’s memory or some other form of storage, allowing users to complete tasks more quickly. The cache of a mobile device can include data about all the apps and websites that the user has accessed, so your app should have a function that ensures the cache is refreshed on a consistent basis. By automating this process, you can protect login data and other user information without having to manually clear the cache.
Developers can also configure apps to not cache web data by modifying the HTTP caching headers. In addition to protecting user data, such a feature can help prevent tricky bugs.
Putting a Mobile App Security Checklist to Work
By combining these security features, you can create the safest mobile app possible. Strong mobile security measures will help you build trust and loyalty among users, as they will be able to feel safe using your application. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that you have done everything possible to protect the app you worked so hard to build. It’s a win all around.
If your business is hoping to develop a mobile app, you will want to select a developer who can ensure your app stays safe. The team at SevenTablets develops mobile applications with the latest, most reliable security features available. In fact, our STAX framework offers 4096-bit SSL encryption while our Brigade platform protects messages. We also offer services related to many emerging technologies, including Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.