Top 5 Mobile App Security Concerns and How to Address them

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January 19, 2020InternetNo comments

The changing and dynamic trend of technologies is shaping the mobile phone industry. Over a decade ago, a mobile phone was used to make calls or send messages. But look at the scenario now, mobile phones have become part of our daily lifestyles. From calling to shopping, banking, booking and more, there are endless ways a user has been using the device. There’s so much available in one device that anyone couldn’t resist from exploring it.

With more and more app usage on mobile devices, the threat gradually increases. Imagine a user installs “N” number of mobile apps which are a necessity like banking apps, shopping apps, video streaming apps, etc. All these apps demand user information be filled in. This is an open invitation for external threats to hamper the critical data without anyone knowing. The challenge of mobile app security is threatening, and mobile app development companies are trying to get control over them.

Amidst some of the major issues that developers need to tackle, here is a brief on some of the important ones.  

Here are the top 5 mobile app security concerns and ways that development companies use to tackle them. It’s important for all of us to know as the rising trend of mobile usage would continue to grow in the coming years as well.

 1)   Insecure Data Storage

The most critical component that impacts the mobile app security is insecure data storage. As explained above, almost all mobile apps ask for user’s data be it personal, financial or extremely important. 

The justification for all this is the convenience that the app would bring in user’s lives. However, such is not the case always. A user may like how easy it is to store bank card details in the app along with passwords for easy checkout. But it also invites unauthorized access into the app and uses personal information for their benefit leading to a huge loss.

Mobile app developers need to develop apps in such ways that it doesn’t store any kind of user’s information residing on the device. Data should be stored in an encrypted data section.

For instance: The Starbucks app used to store user credentials, geo locations in plain text format. Once reported by CNBC in 2014, this created chaos in the market and some users started to delete the app. This cost the brand to face reputation loss and found it difficult to gain users’ trust for a long time.

2)   Weak Server-Side Controls

Another challenge that is faced by a mobile app development company is that most businesses do not realize the importance of server-side controls. It’s an easy target for hackers as they can easily gain access to the communication done between the mobile app and the user if the app has weak server-side controls. 

It’s better to assure the security of the mobile app through some testing tools and general precautions. The best way to secure the server-side controls is to scan them using an automated scanner. Advanced security can be incorporated with the help of cyber experts.

3)   Data Leakage

There is often unintended data leakage from the mobile app that leads to loss of user data which may or may not be important. This could be due to data storage on the device at unreliable and unsafe locations. This invites other apps to access the data easily as it is not protected and thus leads to data leakage. This often results in a breach of the user’s privacy. Unintended data leakage is different from insecure data storage.

The former happens due to challenges like OS bugs and negligence of security in the framework which is often not in developers’ or mobile app development company’s hand. This could be taken care of by monitoring common leakage points during the mobile app development like caching, logging, HTML data storing, application backgrounding, browser cookie objects, and more.

4)   Unauthorized or Unauthentic Access

Most of the time, any threat with data management in the mobile app is majorly due to unauthorized access in the mobile app. Despite all the alerts given to a user, they still have their data in the mobile app for their convenience. Many apps have started to take the app security seriously and hence chances of vulnerability are less. However, some apps still suffer through the challenge of unauthorized access and thus loss of data.

This could easily be managed when mobile app development companies take into account password protection through encrypted codes, permission barriers to entry and strong passwords instead of normal 4 pin passwords.

5)   Improper Transport Layer Protection

A transport layer is a route that transfers the data from the client to the server and vice versa. Hence, it is important to have a secure transport layer to avoid threats like fraud, identity theft and more. The presence of a deficient transport layer allows the hackers to gain access to the data and alter/modify or even steal it at his will. Mobile app developers should use SSL and TLS to encrypt communication. Any custom mobile app development company can be used as a third party analyst to use their SSL versions.

Conclusion

Wrapping up, the need to secure mobile apps has become ever crucial and important these days. The growing use of mobile apps is forcing businesses to take special measures to safeguard their user’s data from hackers or any other external threats. This ensures that the business cares for their users’ data and maintains the relation between them. Mobile app development companies have the major responsibility here as they have to ensure the security of the app and that it is not threatened by any external layer.