You might think that the mobile app development process is simple, short, and straightforward. But from ideation to deployment, there’s a lot that goes into it. A lot of attention must be paid at each stage to avoid security breaches and data leaks. In fact, it’s extremely common for developers to overlook something in their code, which can result in cyber breaches and a potential data leak.
The cost of fixing these problems is not insignificant – the average cost of a cyber breach is approximately $200 per user record leaked, and data leaks can also lead to negative PR and harm your brand reputation. To help you reduce the risks involved in your mobile app development project and increase its likelihood of success, we’ve compiled this list of 7 helpful tips on preventing security breaches and data leaks during all stages of your project:
Ensure that the app has a solid development foundation
The first step to avoiding a security breach is having a secure foundation for your app’s development. This means reviewing your requirements, system design, and security architecture. In your development requirements, make sure you clearly define what you want to achieve with your app and how much time you want to spend developing it. From there, make sure you architect your app with security in mind.
When designing your app, Chrome extension, make sure you’re following best practices and keeping your security-related risks as low as possible. So before you even begin writing any code, you should ask yourself some questions: Will the app be hosted on your company’s servers or on a third-party cloud provider? What about the data that will be used by the app? Will it be stored on the app or accessed through a server? What happens if the app loses connectivity? What if the user chooses to log out? And so on.
Test your code and mobile app constantly
As you’re writing your code, it’s important to test it often and thoroughly. A third of organizations don’t test their apps until they’re almost ready to go live. This is a big mistake: the earlier you test, the more likely you are to find issues, address them, and avoid a potential breach. There are several ways to do this: In terms you’ve written your code, you should write a test plan.
This should outline the type of testing that will be performed and include a list of test cases along with their expected results. Testing your code is a way to uncover issues or defects that could impact the security of your app. It includes unit testing, functional testing, and system testing. Testing your mobile app also includes checking for any vulnerabilities that might exist in your app’s code.
This can be done with various tools, including static code analysis and code scanners that can be used to look for malicious code, bugs, or any other problematic code in your app that can lead to security breaches.
Make sure there are no API vulnerabilities
As you’re testing your code, you should be looking for any potential vulnerabilities that could lead to breaches. One of the most common vulnerabilities is a flaw in your API. To avoid this, you should test your API thoroughly and conduct penetration testing.
A penetration test involves scanning your API and checking for any vulnerabilities, especially those related to the following issues: There are different tools that you can use to test your API for vulnerabilities and flaws, such as the OWASP Zed Attack Proxy or the Wapiti Network Scanner. You can also hire a professional security auditor to perform a penetration test.
Be transparent with users about how you’ll use their data
Furthermore, you should also be transparent about what happens to the user’s data once it leaves their device and is uploaded to your servers. How are you storing, securing, and deleting their data? What happens if their account is hacked and their data is breached?
Don’t store unnecessary data
This is especially significant if you’re building a B2C app that deals with sensitive data, like healthcare applications or financial institutions. You should only be storing the data that you absolutely need, and you should be deleting it as soon as it’s no longer relevant.
You should also be applying data retention policies to your assets and databases, so you know exactly when to delete certain data. This can help you avoid storing unnecessary data and potential security breaches.
Use end-to-end encryption for sensitive data
End-to-end encryption, or E2EE for short, is a data security technique that you can use to protect sensitive information. With E2EE, only the users involved in the communication can decrypt and view the data resume, which means that nobody else can access it.
E2EE is particularly helpful when dealing with sensitive data, such as financial information, healthcare records, and payment details. If you’re working with sensitive data, consider implementing E2EE encryption in your data transfers and/or storing sensitive data in an encrypted database.
The mobile app development process is not straightforward and easy. In fact, it’s extremely complex and can become even more so if you don’t do everything in your power to prevent security breaches and data leaks.
To avoid these problems, you must pay attention to every stage of your project and follow best practices at all times. From securing your development requirements to architecting your app with security in mind, there are many things you can do to keep your app secure.
With these tips in mind, you can be assured that your app will be secure and ready for launch. And you can make sure that your mobile app development project is successful from start to finish.
Jim is a digital marketing consultant, author, and instructor. He has more than 4 years of practical experience with SEO and digital marketing. Jim holds an MSc Degree in eCommerce and has consulted with Fortune 50 companies in different industries. He blogs regularly about SEO and Digital marketing, and his work has been referenced by leading marketing websites.