Over the last few years, the number of people working on Mobile App Development has increased dramatically. To meet the needs of digital consumers, several apps with various features have arisen, such as FinTech apps, eCommerce apps, and Super Apps. These apps also collect potentially sensitive information including phone numbers, email addresses, location, and credit card information to enable businesses to make precise judgments to improve their services. However, it also implies that hackers can obtain that information and use it for malicious purposes. As a result, more caution is needed while building mobile apps to ensure that the users’ information is safeguarded. For organizations seeking for a Software Development Company to build their own app, this blog will present some fundamental information about Mobile App Security, such as its importance, common challenges, and viable remedies. Let's continue reading!
1. An Overview Of Mobile App Security
The technique of securing mobile applications and users' digital information from fraudulent assaults such as tampering, reverse engineering, malware, key loggers, and other forms of manipulation or interference is referred to as Mobile App Security. Any Mobile App Development has gone through Mobile App Security Testing in order to achieve this. You may ask “What is Mobile App Security Testing?”. As the name suggests, it entails checking apps for security concerns depending on the frameworks they are built with, the platforms they run on, and the potential collection of users. In reality, there are numerous security controls accessible, and it is up to the Tech Vendor to select the most appropriate one. Due to a lack of vetting, security mechanisms may be readily evaded by attackers.
According to Check Point's Mobile Security Report 2021, the great majority of businesses faced at least one mobile malware attack in 2020, which entices customers to download a malicious payload via infected websites or URLs in order to steal their credentials. Furthermore, according to another poll, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security testing. As you probably know, security is important for every business. If their Mobile App fails to protect their users' data, they will lose not just consumers, but also trust, reputation, cost, and money to resolve the issue. Who wants to use a Mobile App with a security flaw? Who can trust a mobile app that might steal their data? Nobody! Therefore, it is critical to place Mobile App Security first and foremost from the start.
2. What Problems Cause The Lack Of Mobile App Security?
a. Multi-factor Authentication Shortage
To make things easier, many users use a single password for all types of Mobile Apps that is easy to remember. However, it also poses a risk to your app and personal information because cybercriminals can easily gain access. With just a phone call or a phishing email in which the suspicious hyperlinks are attached for you to click, the cyberattacks can trick you into giving up your information, including your login credentials. In such cases, if the Mobile Apps lack multi-factor authentication, those thefts only need an account name and password to complete a transaction or steal your information for criminal purposes.
b. Failure To Encrypt Properly
Encryption is the process of encoding information by converting its original representation, known as plaintext, into an alternate form known as ciphertext. Its goal is to protect data and prevent unauthorized access. According to Symantec data, approximately 10.5 percent of enterprise devices and 13.4 percent of consumer devices do not have encryption enabled. This means that when hackers gain access, the sensitive data will be displayed in plain text, making it easy to steal. Inadequate encryption can have serious consequences, ranging from privacy violations to code theft, intellectual property theft, and, ultimately, reputational harm.
c. Reverse Engineering
Reverse engineering, also known as backward engineering, is the process of analyzing and comprehending how an app works. And the hackers would utilize it to gain access to the encryption algorithms and modify the source code. With reverse engineering, an attacker can use your code against you.
d. Insecure Data Storage
Insecure data storage is frequently the result of a lack of processes to manage images, key presses, or data cache, as occurs in SQL databases, binary data stores, cookie stores, etc. These data storage issues can be caused by errors in the operating system, frameworks, or in new and jailbroken devices. After gaining access to a database or device, hackers can modify the legitimate app to redirect data to their machines. Even the most sophisticated encryption protections are rendered useless if a device has been jailbroken or rooted. Such devices enable hackers to circumvent operating system restrictions and avoid encryption.
3. What Are The Potential Solutions For Mobile App Security?
a. Enforce Strong Authentication
It is true that only passwords no longer provide an appropriate level of security for Mobile App Development. Google even claimed that 250,000 web logins each week are stolen (as of 2015) and the figure can be higher now. As a result, adding additional factors to authenticate an account is a potential security layer to prevent cyber attacks.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA), which typically includes two of the three possible authentication factors, ensures that your app does not rely solely on the password to verify the user's identity. An SMS confirmation code, biometric authentication (such as fingerprint or retina), or the answer to a personal question can all be used as an additional layer of authentication. To be more specific, a typical MFA process may include the following steps:
- A user logs in by entering a username and password.
- Phones may ping with PINs or verification codes.
- The person completes the process of gaining access to the app by using the verified information.
b. Utilize Code Obfuscation
In Software Development, the term “obfuscation” is used to describe the act to create a source or machine code that is hard for people to understand. So, why is it useful in Mobile App Security? Actually, it can be used to make the process of reverse engineering more complicated. If the hacker doesn’t understand how the source code works, it becomes more of a problem for them to break into the application.
c. Set A Solid API Security Strategy
Application Programming Interfaces (API) are one of the most widely used features in practically all software development. They allow you to integrate functionality from outside available services rather than having to construct them yourself. If the API isn't authorized, though, hackers may gain unintended access to the app. Therefore, to prevent it, Tech Vendors should adopt two API best practices, including Authentication and Authorization, to serve as a powerful security tool for APIs. While API authentication will restrict or delete users who abuse the API, API authorization occurs after the user's identity has been verified through authentication and verifies if users or apps have permission to use the API.
API authentication and authorization are used to accomplish the following objectives:
- Only allow valid users to use the API.
- To keep track of the people who have submitted requests
- API usage tracking
- Allowing people to have varying levels of permissions
- Requestors who exceed the rate limit are blocked.
4. Final Thoughts
It can’t be denied that robust Mobile App Development can bring enormous benefits to your brands, which helps you gain customers, increase sales and revenue. However, a bad secured app can demolish everything. So, keep in mind to hire experienced developers to build Software with many security layers to mitigate potential risks.
Contact us if you are finding Android and IOS App Development Software Company. Established in 2015, SotaTek is a Global Software Development as a Service (SDaaS) to help Clients adapt to State-of-the-art Technology. We employ structured cutting-edge methodologies and technology to create the most up-to-date solutions in accordance with the SDLC. Moreover, our top-notch Software Quality Assurance (QA) would minimize stolen and fraudulent attacks on your Mobile App as much as possible, as a result, allowing you to focus on the exponential growth of your business. So, why not become a partner with us right now?