Mobile App Security Best Practices for Businesses

app security

Mobile applications have been one of the most important revenue generators for many businesses. However, following mobile app security best practices is vital in developing and maintaining a successful mobile app.

Cybercriminals are constantly trying to exploit security issues, inventing sophisticated ways. A data breach can negatively impact reputation, customer experience, and bottom line. Following mobile app security, best practices will enable businesses to launch an app successfully. It will also help the customer and company keep the data safe.

An app faced with a breach can make the users download malicious applications. It would affect the business and user data negatively. Thus, it is important to have proper mobile app security in place for both businesses and users.

According to the report, If IoT devices are being cyber-certified, why aren’t mobile applications ? by Security Magazine, 91% of iOS and 95% of Android apps have mobile security vulnerabilities.

This article discusses the mobile app security best practices that companies can make employees and users follow. Read on to know the security best practices companies can use to defend the mobile app against security breaches.

Before discussing mobile app security best practices, let us see why the mobile app security is important.

Importance of Mobile App Security

According to Astra’s report, How to Perform Mobile Application Security Testing, over 98% of mobile apps are not secure.

As the report, 15 surprisingly scary application security statistics say,

15 surprisingly scary application security statistics

Mobile app security is important for businesses because it protects customer data and reduces risk from internal and third-party sources.

It can help protect users and businesses from:

  • Theft of personal and login data
  • Stolen financial information
  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Reputational damage
  • Data loss
  • Malware and virus attacks
  • Lawsuits against unprotected systems
  • Tampering, reverse engineering, malicious software, and keyloggers

Mobile app security also keeps customer data secure and builds customer confidence. It Protects sensitive data from leaks and maintains the brand image by keeping businesses off the headlines. Mobile app security protects users from data loss, malware, and virus attacks.

Risk assessment is an essential aspect of mobile app security. It helps identify potential vulnerabilities that criminals can exploit.

Thus, businesses must have good security for their apps. Let us see the mobile app security best practices that companies can have a look at and practice.

Mobile App Security Best Practices

  • Encryption

Encryption is an essential security best practice for mobile apps. It makes it more difficult for attackers to access and read sensitive information if they gain access to the device.

Here are some encryption best practices for mobile apps:

  1. Data at rest: Encrypt data at the file or database level.
  2. Data in transit: Use secure protocols like HTTPS or SSL/TLS.
  3. Source code: Encrypt your source code to prevent damaging security incidents.
  4. Authentication and authorization: Use appropriate mechanisms, such as tokens or certificates, to verify the identity and access rights of your app and its users.
  • Data storage

Here are some best practices for securing data in mobile apps:

  1. Store data locally on the device, not on another web application.
  2. Use encrypted data containers or keychains.
  3. Use a secure algorithm to encrypt sensitive data stored locally on the device.
  4. Use the latest cryptography techniques.
  5. Perform penetration testing on the mobile app before it goes live.
  6. Use SQLite database encryption models or file-level encryption.
  • Authentication

Here are some best practices for mobile app authentication:

  1. Multi-factor authentication: It requires users to provide two or more forms of identification. This can have something the user knows (a password), something the user has (a mobile device), or something unique to the user (like a fingerprint).
  2. Explicit user approval: Ask for explicit user approval when necessary, based on the application’s security requirements.
  3. Session-based authentication: Maintain session data on the server only. This prevents any form of client-side tampering with the session state.
  4. Password resetting: Include a “forget password” option on the login screen. Setting the new password must be seamless and fast.
  5. Keeping users logged in: Don’t log out users when the app closes.
  • Testing

Mobile app security testing is the process of testing and examining an application to ensure it is secure from potential attacks.

Some best practices for mobile app security testing include testing early, often, and after every build, integrating testing into the CI workflow, using both static and dynamic analysis, and implementing automated security testing and pen-testing

  • Leveraging Pen Testing

Penetration testing (pen testing) is a best practice for mobile app security because it can identify high-risk weaknesses resulting from smaller vulnerabilities.

Here are some best practices for mobile app penetration testing:

  1. Study the mobile application security assessment and create a plan accordingly.
  2. Know about the architecture.
  3. Choose relevant Pentesting tools.
  4. Hire a certified penetration tester.
  5. Include the network and server attack.
  6. Test all software and applications, including operating systems, hardware, network, processes, and end-user behavior.
  • Only Using Authorized APIs

Using only authorized APIs is a mobile app security best practice because unauthorized APIs can give attackers access to your data.

Use secure methods like token-based authentication and OAuth to grant access to your APIs. Also, store your API key or signing secret in a secure keystore. Minimize the use of APIs that access personal or sensitive user data.

Businesses have to avoid storing or transmitting user data if they can. Moreover, companies must consider whether the application logic can be implemented using a non-reversible or hash form of the data.

Also Read: Best Application Security Practices

Summing Up

Mobile app security is crucial for businesses. Encryption safeguards sensitive data and proper data storage practices prevent unauthorized access. Authentication measures like multi-factor authentication enhance user protection. Regular testing, including penetration testing, identifies and addresses vulnerabilities.

Only authorized APIs should be used to avoid data breaches. The alarming statistics highlight the prevalence of security issues, emphasizing the need for robust measures. Mobile app security protects against data theft and shields businesses from reputational damage and legal consequences.

Risk assessment is pivotal to addressing potential threats proactively. Prioritizing security best practices builds customer confidence and ensures a resilient brand image. As the mobile landscape evolves, businesses must adapt and reinforce their security protocols.

Ultimately, investing in mobile app security safeguards data and the overall success and integrity of a business in an ever-connected digital world.

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