Apps have become a part of everyone’s life. They are useful, convenient, accessible, and they make everything easier. However, applications store a lot of sensitive and valuable user data, which is exactly why they are a perfect target for malicious actors. Hackers’ approaches are becoming more creative, so developers must make sure to keep up with the threats and relentlessly work on keeping their creations safe. Otherwise, they will lose the customer’s trust, and they are exposing themselves to huge fines and lawsuits. Even though creating a completely safe application can be difficult, it’s not impossible. Here are some useful tips on how to increase your app’s security:
1. Be Careful with Back-End
Back-end programming is a crucial factor for any application. It powers the whole application, allowing it to run smoothly and seamlessly. Nearly all data and operating syntax are stored in the back-end processes, which is exactly why it needs to be bulletproof. Users can’t access back-end processes. However, skilled hackers can penetrate the system if an application doesn’t have proper security measures in place.
All back-end serves must have stealth security in place to protect the data from being accessed. Many aren’t aware of the fact that nearly all applications are under constant attack. However, proper security measures are in charge of deflecting these attacks, which is why they often go unnoticed. If an application’s back-end servers are vulnerable, hackers will be able to breach it and steal user data.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a security protocol that requires multiple identity checks before allowing users to access their accounts. Many security breaches occur because of weak authentication measures. Just plain email and password login won’t cut it anymore. Instead, all developers should implement multi-factor authentication to keep the hackers at bay. These are the most common MFA methods:
- Biometrics – biometric authentication requires either a facial or a fingerprint scan before allowing the user to access their account.
- Security Questions – security questions are another great measure to confirm the user’s identity. When setting up the account, users will choose a certain security question which only they know the answer to. When trying to log in, they would have to type in the answer before being able to access the account.
- SMS – by using SMS authentication, users will be prompted to enter a code that will be sent to their mobile device instantly after the initial login session.
- OTP – OTP stands for a “one-time password.” After the initial login screen, users will be prompted to enter a code that usually expires in a minute or less, which they receive either via email, SMS, or a phone call.
3. Perform Regular Tests
Although developers can be cocky at times, it is important to realize that writing a perfect, impenetrable code is very difficult. Performing frequent program tests will ensure that all security measures are up to date, leaving no room for malicious exploitation. These are the most common software test types all developers should perform from time to time:
- Vulnerability scan – this is one of the most common security tests that uses automated software to scan a system for flaws in regards to known vulnerabilities
- Penetration test – penetration test simulates a hacking attack and test how the system and the network respond
- DNS leak test – this test is great for both users and developers as it allows them to see whether their VPN or Proxy service is leaking requests and showing users’ browsing activity
4. Hire Professionals
Hiring security professionals is a great idea, especially for developers who don’t want to spend extra time on checking and implementing additional security measures. All app creators should set aside a fund for security, which can be used to hire experts that can check the systems for vulnerabilities and flaws. Although cybersecurity professionals can get pricey, it is definitely a great investment in the long run.
5. Use Good Encryption
Encryption is the process of encoding information in a way that only authorized individuals can access it. Good encryption increases security and decreases the chances of information being intercepted. A lesson-worthy example of bad encryption is Starbucks’s mobile app, which left the users’ data completely unencrypted and unprotected. That caused a lot of trouble for the company.
6. Use Tokens
Security tokens are convenient hardware devices that check and authenticate the user’s identity by storing personal information. They create an additional security layer when accessing system API, leaving less room for exploitation. Tokens also lever user sessions more efficiently.
Developing an app is a long and tedious process that has a lot of stages and takes a lot of time. Developers must take into consideration a lot of factors if they want to create a flawless application, one of them being application safety. They have to be aware of all the emerging risks and be able to act accordingly. All the methods listed above are not that difficult to implement but can be of great value and importance when it comes to maintaining security.