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Mobile App Security Insights

Thinking of Developing a Mobile App? Here's What You Need To Be Aware Of

Feb 3, 2017 10:46:07 AM / by Sung Cho

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Stories of app developers who went from rags to riches working in their parents’ garage are enough to inspire anyone to develop an app. But app development isn’t as easy as it seems, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. The app development part is the simplest step in the process. Everything that comes after can prove quite challenging. Mobile app security is one of the most important factors to consider. It’s also one of the most challenging issues to manage.

So if you’re planning to get rich quick, you might want to choose another endeavor. Determined to get your app working? AppSolid is your ally at every step on the app development journey. Here are the challenges you might not yet have considered.

The Emerging Threat of Hackers

Hackers are everywhere, and they’ll do anything they can to get their eyes on your customer’s data -- or on yours. From scripts designed to repeatedly try passwords to stealing data as it’s transmitted, hackers have virtually limitless opportunities to harm you and your customers. Hackers target apps for many reasons, including:

  • To gain access to personal data that can be used for blackmail or marketing purposes.
  • To access bank accounts, credit cards, and other sensitive financial data.
  • To learn customers’ contact information, allowing them to directly contact consumers.
  • To gain access to information on your servers. This enables hackers to steal proprietary data, release corporate secrets, and in many cases, directly access consumer information.

Some hackers are professional criminals. Others are kids in their parents’ basements just testing what they can get away with. Some are scorned lovers looking to harm an app user. There are as many hacker varieties as there are hacks, but you need to protect against all of them. AppSolid takes the stress out of mobile app security, allowing you to offer secure apps without all the hassle.

Other Mobile Security Concerns

Hacking is just one way criminals can access consumer data and intellectual property. App users face a number of other threats, including:

  • Physical theft of data that’s left on mobile devices. You can reduce the risk of this occurring by automatically logging out consumers, or by allowing users to wipe their data clean if the device is stolen.
  • Behavioral engineering. Criminals don’t need to be computer experts or hackers to access sensitive data. Simply gaining the trust of unsuspecting consumers is all they need to access passwords, bank account information, and other sensitive user data.
  • Accidental release of data. Careless management of consumer data can inadvertently make it public. Cut and paste the wrong code, for instance, and you’ll publish consumer information on your website. Leave a USB drive in a public computer and watch hackers devour your data before you know what’s happened.

AppSolid protects against the most common mobile threats by continually addressing security needs and updating our security measures. Our binary protection is the strongest and most reliable in the industry. And because our security is cloud-based, it does not matter what device your app is developed for. Moreover, this cloud-based approach means that even if a device is compromise, your user data won’t be.

Device-Specific Dilemmas

Security difficulties are just one side of the app development challenge coin. You’ll also need to address the challenges posed by various mobile devices. Some devices, including almost all that use iOS, allow users to adjust app permissions. This can render some or all of your app non-functional. That, of course, produces angry consumers, so you’ll  need to find a way to warn customers about how changing permissions might change device functionality.

You’ll need to anticipate other concerns, too. Those include:

  • Default settings that direct a consumer to an app other than yours.
  • Accessing data necessary to run your app on a customer’s device, particularly if they store the data in an unusual location.
  • Device operating system updates that may change the way your app runs, or how functions related to your app operate.

Rushing your app to publication before you’ve planned for these minor glitches is a recipe for disaster. Not only can it trigger users’ ire. It may also lead to security issues that further tarnish your hard-won reputation.

The Need for Frequent Updates

You might be able to get away with developing an app once and then forgetting about it. That doesn’t mean you should. The app marketplace is an evolving, dynamic environment that faces constant security threats. As consumer use your app, you may also uncover small issues with functionality. This is why the most successful app developers routinely update their apps. Continual testing is key!

Of course, developing an update is just one step in the process. You must also get consumers to update the app. Consider making updates automatic, or disabling some functions until a user updates the app. Otherwise your users may use outdated programs that put their security -- and your reputation -- in jeopardy.

Your Reputation in the Market

Novice developers frequently sacrifice their reputations at the altar of short-term gain. After all, the thinking goes, if they can just get the app into the marketplace, they’ll deal with everything else later. This short-sighted approach dooms you to failure before your app is even published.

In a competitive marketplace flooded with hundreds of thousands of apps, consumers will quickly pass you by if they think there’s any evidence at all that you don’t care about them or won’t ensure their data’s security. Your reputation is your most valuable commodity. Guard it with everything you have, and don’t even think about risking your reputation by dumping an insecure app onto the market.

Cloud Based App Security Start Now

Topics: Mobile App Security, Mobile App Development

Sung Cho

Written by Sung Cho

Manager-Marketing & Public Relations at SEWORKS Co., Ltd.