What App Developers can do to Enhance the Security of their Mobile Apps

What App Developers can do to Enhance the Security of their Mobile Apps

It’s a fact that we rely so much on mobile apps that it would be unthinkable for us to live our lives without them. Relying so heavily on mobile apps can be a bit terrifying, since most of these apps have access to our private and confidential information, including our financial transaction history. This is the reason why these mobile apps are more vulnerable and become an easy target of the ever-so-vigilant online hackers. The onus lies on mobile app developers to build their apps using modern security measures, not only to provide users with secure browsing experience but also to attract more customers to their apps.

Here are some modern safety measures that app developers need to consider while developing their future mobile apps.

1. Use two-factor sign-in system

Passwords are like double-edged swords. If you have a long pesky alphanumeric password, chances are that you forget them in the long run. If you have an easy one then you’re playing into the hands of online hackers. Losing access to hackers means great loss of private and confidential information.

In such a scenario, a two-factor sign-in system can help solve problems. In this system, a user receives a random code through an SMS or an email message when he logs into his account. After entering the code along with the password, the user is allowed to login to his account.

Besides that, the mobile apps that store or have access to users’ sensitive details should allow users to login, provided he gets through the process. This leads us to our next point….

2. Use OAuth2 to make the mobile API secure

If you feel that your mobile API is a bit unsecured, OAuth is made just for you. It provides a highly protected environment for running mobile API from untrusted mobile gadgets and provides token authentication to mobile users.

It’s newer version OAuth2 is the next evolutionary OAuth protocol that creates token authentication for users, which lapses after a short interval of time. When a user enters the log-in details, it stores their access token information on their mobile device.

The app re-prompts the users to provide their login details as the access token expires after a short duration of time. The beauty of this app is that it doesn’t ask users to save their API keys in an unsafe environment, but generates short period of access tokens that can be stored on a temporary basis in an untrusted environment.

This way your mobile API security remains protected even if a hacker gets hold of your temporary access token information which will expire in a short time.

3. Use SSL certification

Ariel Sanchez of OActive Labs carried out research on 40 mobile banking apps of 60 most influential banks in the world and found that 40% of the apps audited didn’t approve the authenticity of SSL certificates presented. This makes them more susceptible to Man in The Middle (MiTM) attacks. Besides that, a large number of the mobile apps had several non-SSL links throughout the application, which enables an attacker to create a fake login or prompt similar scams by blocking traffic to the site and injecting random JavaScript/HTML codes.

Man in The Middle (MiTM) attack is a scenario where an attacker plays the role of a middleman who secretly relays and possibly changes the communication between two parties, thus making them believe that they are actually communicating with each other.

Mobile apps which do not have correct SSL validation certificate are more susceptible to the man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. On the other hand, mobile apps that make use of SSL/TLS to communicate with the server need to be crosschecked with regards to their server certification, so as to avert any security hacks.

4. Follow AES Standard for encryption

The AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) system based on Rijndael cipher is widely used as a symmetry-key algorithm for performing encryption or decryption of data. It is one of the premium encryption techniques being practiced by the employees of some high-security conscious companies, who use AES-256 bit encryption to make their communication highly secure and safe.

It is highly recommended that companies make use of modern foolproof algorithms as part of their data security measures. For encryption, you can use 256-bit key AES encryption and for hashing use SHA-512.

As part of security measures, if businesses can make users’ data more secure then they stand to win the trust of the customers, who will be more willing to use their mobile applications. This way businesses can increase their chances of attracting and engaging more customers through their apps.

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