Protect Your App From Vulnerabilities And Cyber Attacks

February 10, 2022

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Introduction

Knowingly or unknowingly mobile phones and mobile applications have become an essential part of our lives today. We are storing sensitive data like bank account details, our IDs, licenses, and other personal information in our smartphones today. How dangerous it would be if this information ends up with the wrong people? However, every business is trying to expand its reach and acquire more n more customers with the help of mobile applications. So this should come as no surprise as to how much user data is being produced every day. Data is the new gold and it has to be protected from getting stolen or misused since smartphones are under constant threat from hackers who want to steal this valuable information.

Mobile app security threats are on rising in past few years. For example: in the year 2019, 93 percent of mobile transactions in up to 20 markets were found to be fraudulent and blocked. According to research by IBM, the average cost of a data breach for a company is USD 137,000. For these reasons, businesses and users need to be extra careful about the app’s security. If a business’s app is not secure and gives access to a user’s phone to hackers then it can have a huge negative impact on the business and its future prospects. It will become impossible to get that customer back for the business.

So The Question Is How Can Businesses Protect Their App From Vulnerabilities And Cyber-attacks?

Below are some of the best strategies that can be used to protect your mobile application from cyber attacks:

  • Stop insecure communication

Secure connection approvals should only be given after authenticating the identity of the server request. In order to authenticate user identity, implement Secure Sockets Layer/ Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) protocols on the app’s transport channels that scan sensitive data such as credentials and tokens. In addition to this, it is also advisable to use certificate pinning and industry-approved certificates signed by trusted Certificate Authority providers to prevent self-signed certificates.

  • Validation of the information provided

This input validation helps to check credentials & if it is structured appropriately to prevent harmful code from accessing your app. This validation takes place before a mobile application accepts the user’s personal information. This process protects the app from attackers injecting destructive code into your app.

  • Make sure the app’s code is secure

Secure coding practices should be used when developing a code for the app. The OWASP Secure Coding Guidelines and status analysis tools such as MobSF should be used to check the security of your work during the development process.

  • Secure app’s storage

The mobile app’s storage is also a potential target for hackers. Vulnerabilities can occur in storage places such as SQL databases, cookies, configuration files, and binary data stores. To mitigate this risk, local files containing sensitive information should be encrypted using your device’s security library. The user can also reduce the number of app requests and permissions to prevent apps from gaining access.

  • Implementation of proper authentication and authorization practices

There are multiple ways using which implementation of proper authentication and authorization practices can happen. These include:

  1. Ensure requests are authenticated from the server end. Authentication prevents malformed and harmful data from being loaded into the mobile application.
  2. Use encryption to safely protect the client’s and your data, especially if the app requires access to the client’s storage.
  3. Always verify permissions of authenticated users by only using backend data. Verification prevents attackers from using similar-looking credentials to gain access to your backend information and APIs.
  4. Use two-factor authentication to validate a user’s credentials and identity.
  • Safeguard from API threats

API threat protection offers organizations a run-time shielding solution that is easy to deploy and protects your mobile apps, APIs, and the channel between them from any automated attack. This technology is very effective in blocking the execution of attacks, irrespective of the already known vulnerabilities or those uncovered through testing.

 

Conclusion

Protecting your app from vulnerabilities and cyber-attacks does seem like a lot of work. In order to maintain a clean code that minimizes the internal vulnerabilities against external threats, there is a lot of things that need to be done (as mentioned above) to protect the app. Considering all of this, it’s no surprise that most businesses find it challenging to put in the time and resources necessary to secure their apps completely. If you are one of those companies then perhaps investing in outsourcing a reliable app development company or even hiring a mobile security agency can turn out to be a good deal.

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