As much as mobile applications have proven to be a pervasive part of everyday life, the rise of this technology has, of course, been plagued by issues of its own, namely those involving the risks of a potential security breach. Because consumers are increasingly comfortable with inputting sensitive information on their smartphones and tablets, such devices are prime targets for those wishing to exploit any lingering vulnerabilities within the programming of these apps. As developers, it’s your responsibility to guard against these attacks. So let’s review some of the key concepts to help you prevent your app from being the next on the hacker hit list.
If you’re new to app development, you may not realize just how dangerous any potential tampering with your app can be for you and your users alike. In recent years, the number of organizations which have fallen victim to these assaults has risen dramatically, and a big reason for the sharp increase has been the lack of awareness among companies regarding the risk. Technology is simply developing so far and so fast that many industries cannot keep up with the higher level of cyber security needed to govern it all.
Perhaps — like many businesses out there — you underestimate the need for experienced security personnel to maintain your users’ safety. You might even think that your minimal efforts to curtail an attack are enough to ensure their protection. After all, why should you invest in more thorough measures if you don’t have to? Enough developers are struggling to remain competitive with their corporate counterparts, and a detailed security team may be just out of your budget. But make no mistake. If this is you, you’re doing your business and your users a tremendous disservice.
Once you recognize the inherent need to safeguard your business against attackers, then it’s time to leap into action. Thankfully, countless measures can be put into place to prepare you for the possibility that your app might come under attack. Once you update your team and enlighten your users on ways in which they can minimize risk, it falls to your encryption to keep your app’s data from falling into the wrong hands. You may even wish to implement a mobile application management (MAM) system to enhance your security efforts.
Other methods include adding a single sign-on feature — such as OAuth 2.0 — to maintain two-factor user authentication across your app or risk assessment functionality that can alert users when their data may be more vulnerable. Whichever route you decide on, ensure that your source code encryption prevents hackers from accessing your IP address, wherein they could tamper with your base code or target your users directly.
While there are many ways in which you can protect your app from an attack, perhaps the most important method is to install a monitoring system to keep watch on all activity that occurs within your app. Data leakage may happen at any time, and the best way to defend your users against an attack is to be able to identify one while it’s happening and act in the moment. This way, you can know without fail that your security controls are activated and serving their intended function in discouraging malicious users from invading your sensitive data.
Furthermore, this approach also helps to ensure that your app is performing at optimal levels, leading to a direct effect on the customer experience. This is especially important considering how many external forces interact with and may affect your coding. The best way to ensure that everything is running smoothly is to continually oversee your app and its activity. As straightforward as that sounds, you might be surprised by how many developers neglect to institute this most critical of systems.
Don’t Hit the Breach
While the risk of a data breach may always be a looming threat, there’s little reason to fret over the possibility that your hard-earned efforts may fall prey to attackers. After all, with every new web-based technology, the potential for such invasions of privacy remains, and accordingly, new and more sophisticated ways to combat it continue to emerge.
If you take the necessary precautions to protect your app against hackers, you’re that much better off. Only through knowledge and defense can you arm yourself against malicious hackers and maximize your users’ protection. The concepts outlined above should help provide you with the first steps. The rest is up to you.