The market for mobile applications is growing in tandem with the market for mobile phones. Mobile phones offer the convenience of completing several transactions in the handheld devices thanks to these applications. But safety is always a concern because unscrupulous people would love to get hold of data floating around on the net and use it to their advantage.
Here is a list of five top security factors that should be considered throughout the process of mobile app development.
1. Users can reveal sensitive information
No amount of safeguarding and warning will do. People will use their handheld devices to pay for many things like bus tickets, and hotel bills simply because it is convenient for them to do so with their smartphones. Effectively, such persons will use their passwords, which can be captured or deciphered with the help of some software. Many people also remain logged in throughout the day, instead of logging out many times in the day. Therefore, hackers can gain access to their passwords and other information, especially if the smartphone is also used to connect to some PC on which such hacking program is residing.
So what can a mobile app developer do?
While developing any mobile app facilitating such payment, it is necessary to incorporate procedures that will prevent hackers from capturing such sensitive information. Planning for securely caching the data on the device is mandatory. Direct storing and linking of the password can be avoided and the process can be prolonged and made complicated. Hacker is likely to give up because he can’t be developing a separate program for hacking from every such app.
2. Server control problems and security problems with other apps
Mobile applications reside on a server. The server has some security checks. If this is compromised, mobile application too would be compromised, and so would the data that is collected by the mobile application for facilitating some transactions.
Similarly, there may be other apps that are already compromised, and these may reside on the handheld device.
Though in principle, mobile app developer is not at fault. He or she can at least test the app on the server for some time to confirm whether the security algorithms used by the server are functioning as desired or not. Such testing should be done periodically as well because the security can also be breached at a later date. Similarly, testing for other apps that are likely to steal sensitive information that will be asked through this app should also be done at the time of installation as well as at regular intervals.
3. Using codes developed by other developers
Many apps are improvements on previous apps. Also, there are ample freeware apps allowing developers to use those codes and add unique and desired feature. Some hackers also offer such free codes. If the developer opts to reduce his or her workload, chances are that he or she would be helping the hacker instead of the customer. Therefore, it is necessary to test the codes and check for any possibility of hacking with them, before integrating them into the mobile apps.
4. Using weak encrypting methods
Encrypting methods prevent hackers from easily accessing the data. There are algorithms built in encrypting methods. Periodically, hackers are able to decipher these and, therefore, new algorithms need to be regularly integrated and updated in the mobile apps. If the developer is not aware of hacking with previous encrypting methods, then chances are that the mobile app would become susceptible to hacking. Therefore, it is necessary for the mobile app developer to be alert to different security breaches in the market, and new encrypting and security tools that are periodically introduced into the market.
5. Physical data loss
Mobile app developers should be prepared for almost all things that can go wrong with their app, and provide safeguards against such misuse. One of the possibilities is the handset being stolen or lost. This would give a total stranger access to sensitive information about the authorized customer. That is not done, or should not be done. Therefore, the developer needs to add security feature that prevents unauthorized persons accessing sensitive information.
Between the mobile app developer and the end user of the app, it is the developer who can do something to secure valuable data. Therefore, it is incumbent on him or her to provide necessary security to clientele by incorporating several security features, testing security, and periodically upgrading the security.