SevenTablets, Inc.

How Can I Ensure Hybrid Mobile App Security?

Read Time: 4 minutes

Hybrid mobile app security is a concern for many developers, as these apps may require extra work to protect them. However, the effort is well worth it. After all, hybrid apps are more beneficial to a company’s bottom line because they help businesses cast a wider net, allowing both Android and iOS users to enjoy their app. Developing a single hybrid app is also quicker and more cost-effective than developing native apps for Android and iOS individually.

Nevertheless, hybrid apps can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than apps written using native binary code due to the fact that JavaScript and HTML are easier to reverse engineer and modify. This allows hackers to access the database and consumer information of a hybrid app through man-in-the-middle attacks. However, a talented app developer can easily implement security measures that will guarantee the safety of your hybrid app so it is just as protected—if not more so—than a native app.

Server-Side Vulnerability

A common mistake with hybrid apps is having weak server-side controls. All communication that takes place between an app and the user occurs through a server. This means the server is often targeted to hack the app’s database.

Many businesses fail to implement safeguards against server-side vulnerability because they aren’t informed on how to fix these issues, have small security budgets or fail to consider the potential for risk. Also, it’s important to remember that not every operating system’s software update is made the same in terms of securing its apps.

Ensuring the security of your app and its users is sometimes a matter of testing and scanning its security more extensively. You can accomplish this using an automated scanner, which unveils common issues that need to be fixed. The application programming interface (API) should also have security measures that verify the identity and administrative privileges of the caller in order to thwart cybercriminals from hacking into the server. An app developer with a security team trained in hybrid mobile app development can walk you through the scanning process and ensure the security of your app.

Binary Protections and Insecure Data Storage

Another common issue with hybrid mobile apps is a lack of binary protections, which allows hackers to reverse engineer your app’s code and plague it with malware. This can lead to data theft and fraud, thereby hurting your bottom line and harming the reputation of your brand.

You can fix this issue with binary hardening, a technique that analyzes your binary files and modifies them with the intent of avoiding common hacking exploitation techniques. This route fixes the vulnerabilities of the legacy code without revealing the source code. You can also solve this issue with jailbreak detection measurements, certificate pinning controls and debugging software.

A lack of secure data storage is another issue companies deal with, as many developers depend on client storage for data. However, client storage can lead to security breaches because the data can be accessed and manipulated. The end result could be everything from identity theft to data policy violations. You can ameliorate this issue by adding an additional layer of encryption on top of the base level encryption that each operating system offers.

Preventing Weak Authorization and Authentication

Having poor authentication or a complete lack of it can pave the way for hackers to enter your app through the backend server. This happens far too often due to the input form factor of mobile devices, which consist of short passwords that are often a person’s four-digit pin number.

Mobile apps also have an issue that online software doesn’t, which is that some apps can be used without an internet connection. As such, some mobile apps may have offline authentication features, which can allow a hacker to enter the security logins of an application in the offline mode.

You can prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information by ensuring that only users who are online can log into the account. If you absolutely need offline authentication for your business to operate, you can encrypt the app data to ensure it’s only opened under a certain set of circumstances, such as through an administrator’s device.

Obfuscation for Hybrid Mobile App Security

Another great way to secure hybrid apps is through the combination of obfuscation and runtime safeguarding techniques. You can apply these to the code within the app, regardless of whether it’s JavaScript or HTML.

Obfuscation allows you to transform the mobile application into code that is hard to access, disassemble and interpret by hackers. However, obfuscation still allows your code to run as smoothly as it did before, ensuring no performance bugs pop up. Essentially, obfuscation makes communication confusing in order to hide the meaning of the data, making sure hackers will have a hard time accessing your code.

To implement runtime protection techniques, you will need to give your app the ability to scan for any instances of tampering or malware injection attempts. You can add anti-tamper controls to the code, which allows it to automatically verify any security threats. The technique checks its own code to ensure the app is in its original state. This safeguard can also determine whether the app was opened in a regular mobile device or not. If cybercriminals are using malware or code tampering software to enter the app, runtime protection techniques will hide the JavaScript code, ensuring the app will still work if the code is disassembled.

A talented hybrid app developer will be able to protect your app with all these security techniques without sacrificing the functionality of your app. Ensuring the security of your app is critical, as it’s easier to prevent cyber attacks than it is to stop them. Plus, many of these techniques are cost-effective and easy to implement. And with these security measures in place, you can enjoy the increased flexibility of a hybrid app without losing any sleep over safety concerns.

If you’re hoping to bolster the security of your hybrid mobile app, you will need to work with an experienced developer. The team at SevenTablets specializes in hybrid app development with a reputation for helping businesses protect the security of their apps. In addition, we provide services related to a variety of emerging technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain and natural language processing.

While SevenTablets is based in Dallas, we also serve clients in Austin, Houston and across the United States. If you’re ready to discuss your project, please contact us today.

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Venkatesh Kalluru

Venkatesh Kalluru

Venkatesh “VK” Kalluru is a technology and business expert with executive and hands-on experience in automating multi-million dollar enterprises and a strong record of success in creating robust information technology architectures and infrastructures. VK brings proven ability in using IT to solve business issues to the Sertics team. Sertics is SevenTablets' sister company, specializing in predictive analytics solutions.

VK studied computer science at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India and earned a Master’s Degree in computer science at George Mason University.

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