Tech provider Synopsys recently released a report via their Cybersecurity Research Centre that highlighted alarming security vulnerabilities in the top 3,335 Android apps in the Google Play Store. Titled ‘Peril in a Pandemic: The State of Mobile Application Security’, the report indicated that the privacy of app users is becoming increasingly compromised due to weak security practices. The report was particularly timely as many of us have now turned to working from home and require apps to carry out tasks we previously conducted face-to-face — virtual meetings, for example.
As a leading provider of app development in Melbourne, Newpath Web considers the security and privacy of app users to be amongst our top priorities. Our 10 years of experience in the field has provided us with the skills and knowledge to create secure, high-performing Android and iOS apps.
Common app security problems
Encryption is a process whereby readable text is scrambled so that it cannot be viewed by unauthorized parties. The goal of encryption is to protect private information — in the case of app development, this can be anything from user data to source code — from hackers and other prying eyes.
Without appropriate encryption, you risk your data getting hacked, putting your users’ personal information at great risk.
Lack of SSL (secure sockets layer)
SSL certificates are not just important for websites. Mobile apps require them as well, particularly if you are dealing with a large amount of user data.
Data that has been input into your app has to be stored somewhere, usually in an online server. If this server is not protected by an SSL certificate, it represents an open target for hackers.
Little to no upgrades
Online threats are constantly evolving, and it is the job of developers to ensure their apps are appropriately secured — not just now, but into the future as well.
It is almost a guarantee that your app will require upgrades to meet emerging security threats. If you are slow to act in providing patches and fixes, you risk losing user data and trust.
Poor internal security
Many of these top security concerns centre around the app itself. However, developers also need to make sure that they are protecting their own personal information.
Simple practices such as making sure that you are using secure passwords and two-factor authentication can protect developers from being hacked, which could have dire consequences.
Protecting mobile app users
Fortunately for developers, there are many resources out there that can help create secure, functional, and high-quality mobile apps.
If you are a business looking to partner with an app development company, be sure to ask about their security practices. Put simply, the personal information of your company and it’s clients is too important to risk in the hands of an inexperienced team.
These are some of the key features you should be looking for in an app development company:
- Penetration testing: Penetration testing aims to uncover any vulnerabilities in the code and functionality of an app. Essentially, a person conducting penetration testing takes on the role of a hacker who is looking to access unauthorised information. It is vital if you are to truly understand the security performance of your app.
- Code signing certification: Code signing is a signal to potential clients that your app is both legitimate and secure — it can be thought of as a ‘stamp of approval’ of sorts. Both Android and Apple require apps to be digitally signed before they are uploaded to the respective stores.
- Encrypted data: As mentioned, data encryption is one of the most important aspects of app security. Don’t trust your user data in the hands of any team that doesn’t take encryption seriously.
- Principle of least privilege: One of the most significant concerns in app development is excessive permissions — that is, apps that ask for permission to track and store data that is simply not necessary from the perspective of functionality. Ideally, your app development team will keep the access of your app to a minimum — your clients will thank you for this!
Newpath Web — high performing, secure app specialists
The development of iOS and Android apps is a complex game, one best left to the professionals. By partnering with Newpath Web, you can be assured that the security and privacy of your customers is a top priority.
Not only are our apps beautifully designed, they are functional and secure. Our experience working with clients such as Porsche, Vets on Call, and the State Government of Victoria has taught us a thing or two about what goes into a high-performing app and we are eager to share our knowledge and skills with new clients.
Keep your app users happy and safe by contacting Newpath Web today.