Coming up with a concept for a new app is not all that difficult, but making it a reality requires a lot of strategizing, planning and outlining.
Various factors go into the app development process, and in today’s world, where hacking, cybercrime and data leaks are the norm, mobile app security needs to be taken seriously. Basically, it should be at the top of the list when starting a new app development project.
The last thing any app developer will want is for their app to go down due to a security flaw, which can only happen if security planning is not given enough importance. If you want to develop a new app, take the following tips into consideration to ensure the said app is launched successfully.
Get the Security Team Involved
Getting the security team involved from day one is a necessity rather than a luxury. When the security team is part of the development process, there is no room for error. But the team has to be incorporated in everything that has to do with the app development process; whether you are Scrumming, Rapid, Agile and SWOTing.
In case a change is made, or a revision is on the cards, get the security team on board. This way, they will guide you on how to deal with potential issues.
Testing is the Way to Go
Even though a staggering 60% of developers are not confident about their app’s security, they still do not take the appropriate steps to fix it. The problem lies in developers failing to test their apps.
QA is an important part when building security code, and it should not be an afterthought. Review every line of code, and identify potential loopholes, then fix them before the app goes live.
Don’t Assume Third Party Dependencies are Safe
It is common for developers to use codes from third parties: Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
You need to understand and realize that third-party code is not necessarily safe, nor is it vetted. No matter what happens, don’t be one of those programmers that make do with what they have got. Be thorough about the third party modules you plan to integrate and only consider them if you are certain they are safe.
Verify APIs you intend on Using
APIs are a vital part of back-end programming, but they can be a security nightmare too, especially since they need to see the real world. For this reason, it is necessary for you to make sure that the APIs you plan on using are verified for the development platform you are using.
Think like a Hacker
When writing code, think like a hacker. Ask yourself questions like: is this exploitable? Issues that may seem minor could be a vulnerability for hackers to exploit. And if that happens, it will affect how people see your app.
While reviewing code for your app, look for ways to break it. That does not mean you stop at flaws alone. You can’t leave any stone unturned during app testing. This is especially true for mobile devices considering how they are subject to a host of environmental variables.
Minimize Permissions to Prevent Attacks
For greater security, you might as well rely on zero-trust security, since it is one of the fastest growing methods after all; that too for good reason. This method relies on the principle that nothing or no one on a network is safe, let alone secure. This translates into how the lowest possible permissions are granted to a machine or a user, and only when required.
When it comes to your mobile app too, the same principle needs to be applied. If your app does not need access to contacts or camera, then restrict the app’s access. Additionally, if it does not require an internet connection, don’t program it to require it then.
Be Wary of what is being stored on a Device
Personal data stored on any device is ripe for the taking, in which case you need to get rid of it. If that is not an option, then ensure said data is moved to a secure location instead. This includes personally identifiable and sensitive information, in which case you should encrypt it as well.
If your app deals with sensitive information, then a compromise will have to be made in one way or another. Either, it will be on your servers or on the device itself, meaning both are at risk of being compromised. While developing your app, take all the time you need to determine where user data should be stored, not only for your sake but for the users’ too regarding security.
Whether you are developing your app yourself, or through a mobile app development company, know what you are getting yourself into. Also, if you want your app to be a success, you will need to indulge into aspects like marketing strategies, so don’t expect to be done with it once your app is readily available for use.
The entire app development process is a complicated one, and if you want to get highly rated, then you will need to protect your users. As long as you play your cards right, you will be recommended to others as a reputable app choice.
Author Bio: Megan Dennis is a passionate tech blogger at Appiskey