Top 20 Mobile App Security Practices for Developers
Mobile App Security

As an App developer, building a secure mobile app to defend against the ever-increasing hacking capabilities of cybercriminals is a big challenge. Gaining access to mobile app users’ crucial data through complicated strategies used by cybercriminals calls for immediate attention to the most important and safe coding parameters that developers must focus on while developing mobile apps.

Hereupon, we put together some of the most crucial security parameters that mobile apps must be assessed for and incorporated for developing a mobile app that meets the highest degree of security. Also, I would recommend you to watch DevOps Tutorial before developing any mobile apps.

Focus on App Security from the Beginning

As a developer, you must focus on application security from the beginning right from its initial stages of development. Have complete insight into the security of your app, how it works, get feedback from security teams, marketers regarding security issues, analytical reports of analytics tracking pixels, etc., and incorporate security solutions into your code development process.

Use Penetration Testing

These days, many tools like Cydia, Apktool, etc., are available to carry out penetration testing into your source code and bring forward even the minutest of security lapses. Penetration testing can be thought to be something like ethical hacking, where you try to exploit any security loophole like a hacker would do. In the process, you can find out all the weak links of the code, harden the mobile app security and mitigate the hacking risks.

 Use Threat Models

Building threat models on top of how operating systems, frameworks, and external APIs communicate with each other helps to understand the security loopholes at different levels and help devise the right strategies to overcome them in the development of the apps.

Protect Your Code by Using Code Signing Certificate

It is a smart decision to purchase a code signing certificate when you think about mobile app security, software, and drivers. The code signing by the developer ensures the integrity of the code by making it impossible for hackers to inject any malicious code into it without the user being alerted.

It authenticates the true source of the code, the developer, and ensures that the code is safe for the end-user and has not been tampered with.

Use Third-Party Libraries with Extreme Caution

The use of third-party libraries to carry out various tasks and incorporate outside services should be minimal as they carry their vulnerabilities with them, making your app equally unsafe for users. As a developer, you must use internal repositories to minimize the risk to your app and take regular updates for your libraries.

Use HTTPS Encryption To Secure App Data In Transit

Both Apple and Android mobile phones have protocols and security settings that force apps to use encryption by connecting through secured HTTPS in mobile applications. This ensures that mobile applications communicate with web servers or other apps only by using a safe HTTPS encryption of users’ sensitive information in transit, thus fighting off any man-in-the-middle attacks. Using highly secure encryption protocols like 256-bit AES will ensure the highest degree of security for your app.

Choose Your App Data Security Wisely

Handle your App data storage by paying due attention to your requirements. If your app requires local storage of sensitive user information, then the use of a well-organized security feature of the mobile phone’s internal data storage should be utilized; otherwise, external storage of app data could be used as an option.

Enforce Strong Password Usage

As a developer, you must ensure that you do not allow your app users to use weak passwords, instead ensure that they use a long password for their accounts which is an arbitrary mix of upper and lower alphanumeric and special characters to ward off any brute force attacks to steal vital information.

Pay Due Attention to Authentication and Authorization

Developers must use authentication and authorization tools for solidifying mobile app security. Alongside having strong passwords, developers also must take care that various multi-factor authentication processes are incorporated. The use of the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework or the OpenID Connect protocol is the steps taken in the right direction.

Pay Attention to Proper Session Management

Managing mobile sessions information appropriately is very crucial to protect your app from being hacked. It should be ensured that the user is prompted to log in for every new session, especially for apps that deal with very sensitive user information.

Use Tokens as login session IDs

Use long strings for tokens as session IDs in place of device identifiers. Tokens carry the advantage of being revoked at your wish, unlike device identifiers.

Incorporate Mobile Loss Security Feature

As a developer, including security features like logging off or data wiping remotely, it can be a real value-added security feature for the user if they lose their mobile device.

Use Only Centrally Authorized APIs

To ensure the development of secure apps, use only authorized and trusted APIs. Badly coded APIs could well be an easy route for hackers to sneak into your app. Centrally authorized APIs should always be used in app development to keep it secure.

Keep Your Authorization Data Safe

Caching of authorization data can prove to be a weak link through which hackers can have easy access to your authorization data and misuse it to insert malicious code into the application. So, caching of authorization data should be avoided.

Limit Your Data Access

Keep data access requests for your application as small as possible. Ask for user data that is an absolute must for the smooth running of your app. Completely avoid asking for unnecessary data access requests.

Provide Constant Updates Supported by Consistent App Testing

The app development process is never foolproof. It needs continuous monitoring, checking, and testing for any security lapses and providing fixes for them. Making sure that you release regular and on-time updates for the benefit of your users is a big responsibility to instil trust among your app users, and hence, this should be your top priority.

Obfuscation Of Source Code

As a developer, making your code unreadable and impossible to understand for hackers through obfuscation tools must be adopted. Obfuscation is a process of encryption that makes the source code unreadable by removing whitespaces, renaming variables, withdrawing comments, and many more.

Use Automated Bug Fixing Tools

Please use tools like Network Access Control (NAC) tools, firewalls, and Endpoint Detection and Response tools (EDR) that constantly monitor and check your code for security loopholes and automatically fix them. These tools help to uphold the application’s security and make it difficult for hackers to crack through.

Use Server-Side Authentication

Developers must use multifactor authentication to authorize server-side requests for accessing app data. This ensures crucial data safety and prevents its misuse.

Ensure All User Inputs Meet Sanity Check Standards

Make sure all your input fields, including audio and video, should have standardized input parameters defined for them. Any input data that does not meet these standards will not be accepted and hereby protect against any malformed data-carrying malicious code by hackers.

Now that you are aware of the topmost mobile app security best coding practices, it is time for you as a developer to pay attention to all of them and make them part of your app development process and win user trust by offering them a fully secure app experience.

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