We live in a world where almost every person has a mobile device and at least half of them have smartphones or tablets that they rely on. An instant approach to information or apps functions is a priority. Because so many people depend on their apps, it is very important to keep them safe, for both personal and professional reasons. Here are few pieces of advice that might help you in this process and make your app development a bit less stressful.
Be focused on security from the beginning
Paying attention to security issues from the beginning stage of the app development can save you a lot of time and money. Implementing that aspect into your project might be a bit demanding, but will surely prevent, or at least minimize, future security breaches and problems.
Security has to be a number one priority and it is always a good idea to designate one person or a whole team to constantly controlling a security checklist while the app is in development and deployment phase. Once the app is finished, it is very hard to fix things, especially if the code is poorly done. In that case, fixes can often influence the customer's experience and create a lot of trouble with a functionality of the app itself.
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Encrypt the source code
Recently, the most common type of malware attacks is by so-called "rogue apps". They look the same as the original apps and use its original code, but have an additional malicious code built inside of them. Because of that, it is very important to encrypt your code and prevent app abuse.
Make sure that the communication is secured
Apps commonly communicate with servers, cloud services, other apps, etc., therefore, protection of that communication is vital for the overall app protection. Make your app take care of all the important data, even when the communication is done in a local network without outside access. SSL and TLS protocols should be used regularly in a combination with a process of security certificates validation, and also, it would be a good idea to secure the API's that are used by the app.
Use strong authentication and authorization mechanisms
One of the cornerstones of the app security lies in confident authentication and authorization mechanisms. They protect privacy, security features of the device, identity management, etc. With their usage, all this data is harder to reach by perpetrators and therefore much more secure. Of course, a more complex multi-factor authentication, that includes tokens, for instance, as an additional security feature next to regular password and username, is always welcome.
To set up these mechanisms, you should only use the established technologies like OAuth 2.0 and make sure that it is up to date, like every other security feature of your app. Also, be aware that passwords and other authentication data need to be protected during the whole process of the authentication and mustn't be exposed at any time.
Test your product
Test your product continuously and try to identify potential problems as soon as possible. Go ahead with the scanning of code and threat modelling on a regular basis, and detect possible flaws in the design. Also, don't forget to monitor your app's network traffic and spot possible insecurities.
Just like you can find a third-party service for writing a quality content of your app, you can also find lots of various tools that will help you do a proper job if you have trouble, or you are not familiar with the process.
Keep the sensitive data secured
No one wants its sensitive data to end up in the wrong hands. Be aware of that during the development and deployment of the app, and try to do whatever you can to keep this sensitive data secured.
Try preventing the user's data from being kept and stored on the device or servers. If there are no other options, use encryption containers or key chains, and cookies for storing passwords. Also, don't forget to set the logs up to delete after a certain time.
Use the newest cryptography algorithms
Always use the modern cryptography algorithms, such as AES, or SHA-256 that have a 256-bit encryption. Don't be afraid to use the upgraded and improved versions whenever they show up, it's the only way you will keep in touch with future threats and make your apps as secure as possible.
It's simple – keep the things as safe as possible. Stick to the general rules for security and if you can add some additional safety feature or additional encryption, do it. In this case, more is always better. Just imagine how you would feel if some of your sensitive data get exposed. Make sure you never allow your customers to experience something like that.
This is a guest post by Laura Buckler. Laura is an experienced freelance writer and contributor who produces in-depth and hands-on articles. Her work as a social media marketer also brings skills in social media, digital marketing and content writing to the table. Follow her on Twitter.