There are thousands, if not millions, of mobile applications available in the market. Many of these applications need personal information such as name, address, age, gender, contact number, and even banking details from the user before it can be used. Imagine the horror that could happen if this sensitive information is leaked and used with malicious intent.
Every mobile application in the market is susceptible to a security breach, and no one is exempted. However, it does not mean you can’t prevent your users’ data from being stolen when you create your mobile application. The following are multiple steps you can take to avoid this horrible disaster.
What Will Happen When a Data Breach Occurs?
Each mobile application contains valuable information about its users and the app itself, all critical to the business. Various problems would arise when hackers with the intent of stealing users’ data hacks a mobile application. They can use the stolen information for any illegal activities they want, but the ones who will suffer the most are the users.
The hacker can access vital information from a mobile app and use the stolen data to commit identity theft and fraud cases. Hackers can also inject malware into the app, which has the power to store your keystrokes, access the personal data on your phone, and steal screen lock passwords. All of this can be problematic for the users.
Aside from users, the main people affected the most when a security breach occurs is the app owners. A hacker with ill intent can compromise the back-end network of the mobile application. They can also acquire private business assets and other intellectual properties. Everything will result in a major loss of revenue and also heavily damage the image of the brand.
What Can You Do to Prevent Data Breach?
There are millions of people worldwide who use multiple mobile applications in their everyday lives. Every single one of them expects that the application they are using is safe. The following are some tips you can use to make your application more secure.
Encrypt Your Source Code
Hackers commonly use malware to exploit vulnerabilities and bugs of the source code of a mobile app. Aside from malware, hackers can also copy your app’s source code and create a similar app with malicious code to steal personal information from the users’ phones. To prevent this, security must come first from the application itself.
Encrypting the source code is the first step you can take to strengthen your mobile application’s security. Using minification and obfuscation, you can make your source code hard to read and even harder to interpret by attackers. Aside from that, create your application using up to date and well-supported algorithms and encrypt the code with API encryption so unauthorized persons can’t access it.
Don’t Skip on Testing Your App
Aside from encrypting your code, minimize or completely eradicate your mobile app’s bugs and vulnerabilities so that it can’t be used as entry points for malware. Common causes why they existed are the developer’s mistake and failure to properly test the code. Combating the causes of these problems can lessen the bugs and vulnerabilities of your mobile application.
You can find out if there are bugs and vulnerabilities in your application by undergoing a series of tests. There are various tests you can perform including usability, functionality, and security tests. For a more thorough security test, conduct penetration testing. It’s the type of test specially designed for probing a system, application, and network for any weaknesses.
Never stop testing your application, even after it is deployed. Communicate with your users and ask what problems they encounter while using your app to always improve it. However, it is best to find and solve these problems during app development rather than deploy a buggy mobile application that hackers can exploit.
Secure the Back-end Network
There are multiple ways a malicious attacker can access sensitive information about your users and business. They can access your private networks and databases if they are not secure. They can take whatever data stored in your database or snoop around sensitive information passed between the users and back to the server or network.
To further strengthen your security, containerization will be a good step to take. This method would allow you to create encrypted containers where you can safely store your data. Conducting penetration tests and other vulnerability assessments will help you find out if your network is secured enough to store sensitive information.
For an added security, use an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) like allertaprivacy or internetetsecurite, transport layer security (TSL), and secure socket layers (SSL) together with an encrypted database. You can also spread out your data and resources across several servers instead of storing them in one place. This method is called federation, and it allows you to separate key data from users so it can’t be accessed easily.
Don’t Store Confidential Data in Plain Text
When your application is hacked or cracked, it can cause various problems for your users, especially your business. In an instance that an attacker can access your private network and server, see to it that the stored information will not be useful for the attackers who have gained root-level access to your network.
You can do it by encrypting or scrambling the sensitive data in your database. Hashing or cryptographic hash functions is one method used to make important information unreadable by scrambling the data. Instead of storing the users’ vital information such as social security number, name, password, as it is, by using the hash function, it will store the hashed and scrambled version.
It is important for you not to store confidential data in plain text. In case an attacker can access the database, it will be your last line of defense to protect your users’ data.
When you are creating your mobile application, there will always be a risk of a security breach. This is not something that you can 100% prevent, but you can always prepare what you need to do when this disaster happens. Prevention is better than cure but always be prepared in case a security breach occurs.
Set out a detailed plan on the necessary steps and solutions you will take, depending on the problems that may arise during a security breach. Take it diligently with your team, and you can also get help from professionals. Security breaches and data theft are serious matters that should not be taken lightly.
You can create a mobile application yourself or acquire help from companies such as Chicago UX design. It is not a secret that many aspects needed to be considered in app development, and one of those is your application’s security. We hope that the tips and guides mentioned are helpful on how you can protect your users’ data.
Whether he’s researching the latest mobile hardware specifics or diving deep into the world of software development technologies, Zachary loves to stay in the know. His talent at simplifying and explaining complex technological concepts makes his blog posts easy to read but very informative. Few people are as enthusiastic about mobile technology as he is, and he’s always ready to analyze a new trend.