Mobile App Security: How to Make Your App Safe for Users?
42% of organizations worldwide report that vulnerabilities in mobile apps lead to security incidents. Mobile app security is vital when it comes to maintaining your brand reputation and brand value.
When users are downloading your app, they are investing their trust in your business. Now it becomes your responsibility to provide them with a superior quality fully secured mobile app, and protect your brand value.
Let us crunch on some numbers to understand how users are scaling the global mobile app market.
· There are 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide, which makes up 80% of the global population.
· 2021 witnessed 230 billion mobile app downloads from app stores.
· 87% of users spend their mobile time streaming through apps.
· Traffic generated from mobiles accounts for half of the total internet traffic.
User reviews can affect both your brand reputation and brand value. A single negative review highlighting security concerns can badly impact revenue generation through your mobile apps.
In this blog, we will go through some of the best practices implemented by top mobile app development companies for securing your mobile app. Also, we will look into some of the common app issues, security threats, and ways to handle them.
Before that, let us first understand the role of the App stores in mobile app security.
How are App Stores Approaching Mobile App security?
The App stores pose a line of defense for protecting user identities and ensuring their safety. Their app review team ensures that all the submitted apps strictly adhere to the security guidelines of the App store (Apple, Google). With the evolution of new threats and challenges, these guidelines are refreshed and updated.
However, sometimes infected apps are having malicious code embedded into them. These apps bypass the security system of the app store. This leads to data breaches. When users download these scam apps, they suffer the consequences.
There are 2.2 million mobile apps on the Apple store, as of 2022. It has garnered USD 21.9 billion in revenue through consumer spending on mobile apps.
The Apple store protected its valuable customers from USD 1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions in 2020. Furthermore, the Apple store rejected 1 million nefarious apps and 1 million problematic updates in 2021.
Yet some of the apps were able to bypass Apple’s firewall. Apple was blamed for letting its users use problematic apps that incurred recurring charges, causing a lot of chaos until realized.
Google Play Store:
There are 3.5 million mobile apps on the Google Play Store as of 2022. Users downloaded 27.6 billion mobile apps from the Google Play store, by the end of 2021.
Google Play Protect scans 100 billion apps for malware every day. It claims to have prevented 962,000 nefarious apps from publishing and banned 119,000 malicious developer accounts.
Yet, sometimes the apps on google play become rogue. Some apps get infected and tend to compromise user identity.
Best Security Practices that you can Implement
Follow this checklist to make sure you take all the measures to build a robust security system for your app.
Before launching your app, you must run security checks and identify issues like infrastructure exposure, scams, data leaks, and phishing attacks. Distribute your budget wisely while devising the flow of mobile app development. Only focusing on app features, and not considering periodic security checks, may lead to gaps in the development loop.
While checking for the security of your mobile app, you must think like a hacker. Find out loopholes that can serve as entry points to invoke malicious activities. Weave an intact security system that can resist high-intensity penetration attacks.
Keeping the Code Safe:
The very first step to take for securing your mobile app is to encrypt its source code. Conduct periodical security audits to check for logic flaws, security gaps, and buffer overflows in the code. The Quality Assurance team can run rigorous quality checks and point out the weak areas or hidden bugs. By securing code in the initial stage of building the app, you can:
• build a robust app that closes all entry points for intrusions.
• build a line of defense that detects and prohibits suspicious entries
Performing Security Audits:
Periodical security audits are necessary to uncover security gaps and identify areas that are prone to attacks, threats, and vulnerabilities. You can take remedial actions to correct and improve these security gaps.
An efficient security audit can:
· scan for weak areas that can serve as entry points, by using a penetration test
· scan vulnerabilities and reduce false positives
· correct the logic flaws and buffer overflows
· maintain access only to authenticated users
Testing & Hiring Experts:
Testing internally and externally on a regular basis is very important to identify security gaps and create patches. Internal testing is crucial and demands an expert outlook. You can hire an expert who can conduct tests to offer better insights from a third-party perspective. This can help you rule out bugs, identify susceptible areas, and detect vulnerabilities at regular time intervals. Experts can secure your app by authenticating access only to privileged customers. This can provide users with greater assurance.
Security Standards & Protocols:
By defining security standards & protocols within your company and making it mandatory to abide by them, you can frame an orchestrated app-building system that follows best practices. All the employees and contractors must follow the same line of security protocols while developing the app.
Encrypt User Credentials:
You can leverage encryption in many ways to ensure data protection and enhance app security. Start with encrypting user credentials in a way that your app doesn’t save passwords automatically. Also, the information saved on your app is safe and encrypted.
Encrypt Transmitted Data:
Do not forget to deploy encryption on transmitted data and caches. This is to ensure that the outgoing information does not fall on the hacker’s radar.
Protect the Data Stored on the User Device:
Minimize the volume of sensitive user data stored in your app. Data leaks are a potential threat to any app, as they are detected only after the data is leaked. Implement data security with protective measures like encryption, firewalls, strict security protocols, and an intact security system.
Common App Security Issues and Scams & Ways to Shield Them
Your mobile app can face some common issues and scams once it is launched and distributed.
Did you know,
· 10,000,000+ mobile endpoints are impacted by threats.
· 75% of mobile devices are a target of phishing attacks.
· More than 23% of mobile devices worldwide encountered malicious app activities.
Here are some of the common App security issues and ways to shield them.
Misleading in-app Subscriptions:
Some malicious downloads are attached to automated subscriptions. They might mislead users to subscribe to services, games, or other activities using underhanded tactics. While encountering such infected downloads users may not even realize that they are agreeing to misleading subscriptions. These subscriptions are difficult to cancel and can automatically deduct money from users’ accounts.
How to Cancel Misleading Subscriptions?
Misleading subscriptions are hard to cancel. You can use App Store settings to cancel unwanted subscriptions. You can either cancel it by disabling unwanted subscriptions in the settings, or you can approach customer care.
Phishing is a social engineering attack that tries to dupe users and steal their login credentials, confidential bank account details, and other sensitive personal data. Phishing apps are apps that are disguised for concealing phishing attacks.
How to Check the Trustworthiness of a Publisher?
To check the trustworthiness of a publisher, go into ‘file,’ ‘options,’ and ‘trust center.’ If you do not find that publisher enlisted in the list of ‘trusted publishers,’ immediately back out.
Malware apps are intentionally designed to infect a device, leak private user information, and gain unauthorized access to users’ sensitive data.
Protection Against Malware
Always check the ‘app tracking’ history to determine the past use of these apps and user reviews. Trust your intuition. If you find anything suspicious, do not trust that app.
The global mobile app market is expected to garner USD 407.31 billion by 2026, growing at a proliferating CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 18.4% from 2019 to 2026. Furthermore, the global retail conversion rate for mobile phones accounts for 1.82%.
The mobile app market is wildfire. It is soaring high with incredible innovations and breakthrough technologies.
To maintain a competitive edge in the market, you have to offer a superior quality app. Build an app with a robust security system that can resist high-intensity and a large influx of security threats, attacks, and breaches.
In case you are looking for an expert mobile app development company to level up your brand value; we are here for you. We at Cubet Techno Labs are into mobile app development services. We build superior quality mobile apps that are highly secure and risk-free. Get in touch with our experts today!