The whole business of mobile application development has undergone a sea change over the years. Where people were content with their single task, linear functionality apps; today they are definitely not satisfied with the apps that don’t bring a collection of elements and functionalities together.
What has also changed dramatically is the scope of mobile applications. Where earlier they were looked on like something of a luxury that one could do without, today many of the popular apps are nothing short of a necessity. You ignore them at your own risk.
From small business to large and from global business institutions to retailers, just about everybody wants to provide their customer with applications that help them make better use of their services. What this has led to is apprehension about data security. With more and more mobile applications being used to exchange sensitive private, as well as, corporate data, the unauthorized access of this data is of paramount concern.
Mobile application developers today are under tremendous pressure to build applications that are both accessible and very secure. This, as can be imagined, is a tight rope walk that can only be accomplished if they adopt a focused approach towards achieving mobile app security.
There are three key focus areas here that must be noted by developers. Let’s take a look at what these are:
Deep Knowledge of Mobile OS
I know the very fact that you are developing mobile applications means that you know your way around the mobile operating system for which it is being developed. But, there are plenty of features that developers might not understand with respect to their impact on data security. It’s not just important to understand the features of a particular mobile operating system, from the development perspective; one must also understand it from the perspective of security.
By focusing your attention on the mobile OS of their choice and looking at each of its built in features, from the security perspective, you will have a better idea of what should and what shouldn’t be a part of your mobile application.
A Security Outlook from the Beginning
Whether you are conceptualizing an app, defining its system architecture, wire framing its design or writing the code, at each stage in the development process you need to keep app security in mind. Each and every step that you take from the very beginning of application development should have security as your focus of attention. So, you must ensure that your architecture is secure, that you have reviewed your code to measure its efficiency to tackle attacks on app data, and follow every security activity that helps plug any and every app vulnerability.
Data Storage Focus
One of the better ways of protecting mobile data is not to store it on the device at all. Why not put in place a mechanism wherein all sensitive data is stored on a server side system. Although, not a failsafe method of protecting data, it does make the job of accessing it without permission, a little difficult. There is no doubt that a developer can take steps to control data access on a mobile device, but what happens if the device is stolen or has been misplaced. In such cases, there are chances that the painstaking controls defined by the developer are of no use at all.
The development of mobile application is big business these days, and developers are under constant pressure to deliver applications quickly. In such cases, there is a good chance that they haven’t spent as much time on securing the mobile app, as they should. While they might get away with it if they are developing an app that is a game or say a productivity app, but when it comes to an enterprise mobile app, they just can’t afford to take a chance.
So, it’s of paramount importance that they understand the threats to the security of the app, and take the necessary steps to mitigate these risks. It’s only a secure app that can be called a successful app.