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App Development: Security Considerations to Keep in Mind

Safety Comes First When your company is developing an app, security must remain a primary concern. On average, smartphone owners have more than 30 apps...

Paul Azorin

By Paul Azorin

Chief Marketing Officer Paul Azorin defines BairesDev's vision while leading company modernization and fostering a customer-centric culture.

10 min read

Developer working on mobile app development

Safety Comes First

When your company is developing an app, security must remain a primary concern. On average, smartphone owners have more than 30 apps on their phones, and they open nine of these apps daily. Everyone loves apps – including hackers! As an app grows in popularity, so does the likelihood of cyberattacks.

When an app is hacked, users suffer from leaks of private information. Cybercriminals also use apps to manipulate other areas of a user’s phone. This grants access to private conversations, photos, and other personal content. These hacks have the power to damage reputations and ruin lives.

Companies also face costly and embarrassing consequences when hackers compromise an app. The malicious use of customer or employee information, payment information, and sensitive documents damages an organization in more than one way. After a data breach, 46% of organizations report damages to their reputation and a decrease in brand value.

A vulnerable app without reliable security has dire consequences. It’s best to avoid issues before they arise by ensuring that you have teams established to fully secure an app. Here are key points worth noting as you build your respective teams.


Never assume software is secure

One of the most common errors of a development team is assuming that software is secure at any point in the development phase. There are various points of access where corrupt input can be added by cyber hackers. For example, harmful SQL code may be in the program and overlooked during development. Malware almost always picks up on these vulnerabilities.

Can your app detect user inactivity? Apps should also end idle user sessions automatically within a set timeframe to increase security. These app scripts are user-friendly and increase the difficulty for hackers attempting to log in. When outsourcing, add front-end developers to your team to create the interfaces that prompt users to restart a session by redirecting them to the login page.


Consider file-level encryption

As cybercriminals attempt to extract information from an application, file-level encryption will make the files unreadable. File-level encryption is highly secure because it protects individual files, but encrypting at this level often requires specialized knowledge.

During the encryption process, the life cycles of key management and log management aren’t easy to understand on a general level. Outsourcing these task to experts saves your organization time and leaves less room for errors.


Testing is critical before releasing an app

Establishing a focused testing team allows your company to fully assess how secure your mobile app will be when an attack occurs.

Being that 90% of modern apps have security vulnerabilities, no company should send an app to market without testing it first. Unfortunately, skipping the testing phase is a common practice. Many companies face time constraints, leading an organization to push apps forward to speed up the marketing process.

Web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps have their own unique differences and must be tested accordingly to find coding errors that could result in a data breach. Along with authorization and authentication testing, penetration tests and emulator tests should be completed.

Penetration tests, also known as pen tests, search through your app network looking for vulnerabilities. Responsibilities of pen testing include binary analysis, application mapping, and locating weak API points through a staged attack.

Emulators create simulations to preview an app and see how the app works in various environments (i.e., on multiple devices, browsers, and operating systems). An emulator will then show how vulnerable the app is by attempting to hack it.


Executing Agile techniques increases app security

With the support of Agile project management models, the combined knowledge of your teams is bound to improve app security. By embracing innovative Agile methodologies, projects are 28% more likely to be successful. Agile methods lead to more positive outcomes because your company’s internal staff and outsourced teams will collaborate with enhanced focus and intention.

Developing software requires a high level of security from the ground up to protect users and companies. Agile techniques promote safety and productivity by informing developers of every security measure. From coding to testing, agile development brings attention to the additional security tasks team members should perform while keeping up with the evolving app market to satisfy users.

Paul Azorin

By Paul Azorin

Chief Marketing Officer Paul Azorin outlines BairesDev's vision and mission while leading company-wide modernization initiatives and fostering a customer-centric culture globally. Paul spearheads core business strategies and the overall brand experience.

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