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9 Security Issues App Developers Need to Know While Developing a Mobile App

HomeTechnology9 Security Issues App Developers Need to Know While Developing a Mobile...

Mobile application development is considered the most exponentially growing business in present times. However, there are several barriers in the domain of app development.

The most concerning part of the development of mobile applications is the security issues. The core job of a mobile app developer is to create and roll out fully functional and secure applications. But only 35% of organizations have implemented the security best practices despite 85% saying it’s an important goal for them.

While it’s easy to track the app’s functionality and comfort, making it safe and resistant to cyber attacks is much more complicated. Here we discuss the top 9 security issues an app developer needs to know and rectify while developing a mobile app.

1. Try to write a secure code

Code is considered the most exposed and exploited aspect of any mobile application. Hence, it becomes essential for developers to write extremely safe code. According to research, nearly 11.6 million devices are being damaged by malicious code.

Hackers can easily find backdoors into your code and get special privileges for carrying out malicious activities. Hence, ensure you write secure code that is hard to break and try sticking to agile development so that you can patch and modernize your app timely.

The best way to do this is by integrating an EV code signing certificate for the most secure code.

2. Don’t Trust Third Parties

Writing the entire app’s code is evidently impossible for any mobile app developer. The majority of them depend on third parties like libraries, APIs, stack overflow, etc., and need to take help from them. However, when sensitive information is involved, the developer has to be more careful while using these resources.

When developers seek help from a third party, it makes them dependent on it. This dependency can be a risk to the stability of the software. But you can avoid this by writing code for core elements and opting for 3rd-party solutions for non-core elements.

3. Don’t Ignore API Authorization

Authentication and authorization play a very important role in the process of development of a mobile app. Authentication issues are rare, but authorization issues are prevalent on a large scale and can’t be overlooked.

Mobile applications interact with the help of an API-based mechanism. These APIs are very prone to malicious attacks, and this is the main reason why safeguarding them becomes a big challenge. Thus, developers should prefer using safe and authorized APIs for secure mobile application development.

4. Insecure Data Storage

This mobile app development security issue arises when developers think that users or malware can’t access the filesystem and other sensitive information stored in the device. But they make a big mistake since the filesystem can be accessed easily.

Developers should always expect that any user can have malicious intent and that sensitive data can be inspected by anyone. To avoid this problem, mobile app developers should ensure they are not using libraries with poor data encryption.

5. Insufficient Transport Layer Protection

This mobile app development security issue is caused by applications that don’t have ways to protect the network traffic. They fail to use SSL/TLS anywhere except during the authorization process, leaving the session IDs exposed.

Others can inspect these IDs, making them prone to malware attacks. Developers should make sure to protect session IDs by proper usage of SSL/TLS and extreme protection of network traffic.

6. Improper Session Handling

Poor authentication and improper session handling have the same outcome. When the process of authentication is completed, and a session is allotted, that session allows one-time access to the mobile app. Developers should ensure that the app code secures these user sessions as carefully as it secures the authentication mechanism.

The major mistake developers make invalidating sessions on the app but not on the server. This creates an opportunity for those attackers who use HTTP manipulation tools. Developers should ensure that the server’s invalidation should be done both on the mobile application and on the server side.

7. Side Channel Data Leakage

When a mobile app developer accidentally stores sensitive data in a location where it may be easily accessed by others, a security problem arises. The developer’s code processes all sensitive data from the user or the backend. However, this process could have side effects that developers are unaware of.

Since the information is stored on the mobile device in an unsecured area, which makes it is susceptible to virus assaults. Thus, developers should take note of this mobile app development issue.

8. Poor Data Encryption

This security issue can result in the loss of company and user data in no time. Developers should put strong data encryption while developing mobile applications. However, the main challenge is not the data execution; it’s how the developer handles the keys.

Even the strongest data encryption will not protect the mobile application if the keys are unsafe. Developers should ensure they never store the encryption keys or code signing certificate credentials in any file that is unsafe and handled by many.

8. Tamper Detection Methods

The code and information are already present on the mobile device after downloading the application. An attacker can alter the application’s code, data, resources, system APIs, dynamic content, or any of these. This can give the attacker a straightforward way to utilize the software in a way that isn’t intended for and take monetary advantage.

To avoid this, digitally sign Android apps using a cheap code signing certificate. Buy a code signing certificate so users can know if your app code has been altered after signing it.

Conclusion

So, these were some of the most important security issues a mobile app developer must know while developing an app. We have also provided solutions that you should adhere to for creating a fully secure and hard-to-break mobile app.

Because of recent developments in cyber security, clients are increasingly interested in protecting applications. Consumers will always go towards safe mobile applications over all others as they will then have the power to safeguard their data. From onwards, security will act as a competing and differentiating characteristic in mobile apps.

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pearls of wisdom
Anna Shipman
Anna Shipman
Anna Shipman is a Cyber Security Consultant at SignMyCode with a strong technical background and experience with a high analytical skillset. She has been involved in the information security industry for over a decade. In her free time, we find her helping small and medium businesses strengthen their information security infrastructure.

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