When developing a mobile app it is important to implement security from the outset. Future additions or alterations may not be cost-effective and can dramatically increase the risk of users having their data stolen. Mobile security is one of the most overlooked parts of cyber security and many applications are built with no considerations about security. As such we have created this blog to share with you some best practices for mobile developers, and ensure the security of mobile applications.
Most attackers use bugs and vulnerabilities in code as a starting point for breaking into an application. They’ll attempt to reverse engineer and tamper with your code, and all they’ll need is a public copy of your app to do so. According to research, malicious code is currently affecting over 11.6 million mobile devices.
Keep the protection of your code in mind from the start and harden it to make it difficult to crack. To prevent reverse engineering, obfuscate and minify your code. Testing should be done on a regular basis, and bugs should be fixed as soon as they are discovered.
When writing code ensure use of secure functions and random numbers are generated with a secure random number generator. Failure to implement this into the code of an application can remove security even if it was implemented to be secure.
Don’t use Encapsulation for security
Limiting the abilities of a user using the user interface is useful, but offers no security from an attacker. A sufficiently dedicated attacker will find it easy to intercept the messages between the client and server of the app, and bypass any encapsulation that was present on the front end. If the back end server does not know how to deal with requests such as this, it can lead to extremely damaging results and possibly a full data breach.
Use up-to-date cryptography
This reaches to all corners of application security. Any user data should be encrypted on the device and on the server where it is stored. Not only this but the algorithm used to secure this data has to be secure. The usage of algorithms such as MD5,SHA1,DES are not considered fit for purpose as they are plagued with numerous security issues and are not secure.
There are many ways to keep apps you develop secure and these are only a few. We recommend leveling up your security game by learning the OWASP Mobile Application Security Verification Standard. If you’re worried about an application you have built or aren’t sure if it follows best practices, contact us to discuss a Mobile Security Assessment.