Security Wringers for Mobile App Techies

Everyone is rushing to build a mobile application for their business, including the corporations, companies to develop an iPhone application, iPad, Android applications and Blackberry mobile app that will change the view of the way they do business.

Recent reports have arisen about the significant rise in cyber attacks targeting mobile devices. Many companies, consumers and mobile developers are worried about the security of mobile apps and devices.

When it comes to security, educating the users is an important one. Not every user will be the most tech expert and not everyone will understand the security idioms. It is necessary to inform users about how a mobile app is employing the basic principles of security and safety.

Security Wringers for Mobile App Techies

With competitive pressures, application delivery teams are under pressure to create launch and operate applications at a faster rate.  The popularity of mobile apps is driving demand for development in the corporate and industrial areas.  There are many risks that are being associated with the development of mobile enterprise applications.

Smartphone Device Security Hazards

Smartphone devices face a number of intimidations that pose important risk to company data. Desktops, smart phones and PC s are vulnerable to both physical attacks and digital attacks. Some of the mobile device security threats are given below.

Mobile malware: Mobile malware is the most dangerous one that cause total destruction to the devices. Smart phones, desktops, tablets are vulnerable to worms, viruses, Trojans etc. Mobile malware can steal sensitive data, user data.

Eavesdropping:    Carrier based wireless networks have a better link level security, but there is no proper end to end upper layer security. Intruders eavesdrop on client’s sensitive communications.

Unauthorized access:     Consumers store login credentials for applications on their mobile devices, making access to company resources only a click. Invaders easily access corporate email accounts and applications, social media (Facebook, Twitter) and more.

Theft and loss:     Mobile devices with PC- grade processing power and storage have a high risk of data loss. Users store sensitive corporate information like email, customer databases, corporate presentations and business plans on their mobile devices.

Unmanaged applications:     Without visibility into end user’s mobile devices,   there is no guarantee that they are being updated. The licensed applications and managed applications must be updated regularly to fix susceptibilities.

In the following, there are few questions which mobile application developer should consider before developing their mobile application.

Is data encryption an essential one?

Developers should use libraries like Common Crypto and javax.crypto to encrypt the sensitive data. Data can be like protected health information, password, tokens, cookies, log files and more. Extracting data from the device’s SQL database is relatively trivial, so anything written to it should be encrypted using something like SQL cipher.

Any need for imposition of HTTPS encryption?

It’s easy to become satisfied regarding the security of network communications. Apps should always validate the SSL certificate. To increase the trust, developers should either use two-way SSL authentication or either pin the server’s certificate in their apps.

Has app, binary been scrubbed of susceptible information?

Dynamically generated keys should be preferred over hard-coded, static ones. When there is no other choice, White Box Cryptography techniques should be applied.

What is the best way to prevent an attack on mobile app?

A common delusion around mobile security is that by simply installing or implementing a simple solution, mobile app will be protected from mobile security attacks. There are multiple ways to attack the features of mobile and their functional elements. With proper due diligence and research, attacks can be prevented with a good measure of preventative security coverage.

Is the mobile backend as secure as the app itself?

Generally, mobile security doesn’t end with the app itself. Backend API’s should be tested and hardened, since they can present huge opportunities for attack. They should be able to validate the presence, length, range type and format of all their inputs.

Developers should ensure that their backend API’s are only accessible by their own apps. Modern mobile apps are typically built by multi-source teams, Organization’s internal developers, business line staff and also third parties.

HTML5 mobile apps and hybrid apps built with frameworks based on Apache Cordova simply cannot provide all of these security and privacy mechanisms. Modern tools and solutions can help developers build a robust security into their apps.

How do mobile applications collaborate with internal servers?

Mobile applications collaborate constantly with internal servers and there is an opportunity for mobile app hackers gain access to the internal server if the person is able to hack the mobile application. Usually, the attention is focused towards the security of the device and interaction with the server.

Mobile application developers are not experts in antivirus issues. But they give their best to detect if there was a security breach in a mobile application and find a way to re-program the application to prevent it from further breaching.

 Generally, every company that is specializing in mobile application development have a team of mobile application developers or mobile application experts who focus strictly on security breaches or risks that can come infect a specific mobile application.

Do we have the internal skill to manage the risk?

Given the explosion of demand for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows applications, software developers with even moderate experience are in high demand by business leaders. Mobile software security experts help to lock mobile applications to quantify internal skill sets in mobile development.

Managing Mobile Security

Authentication and encryption help prevent data loss in the case of mobile device loss or theft, but physical security can be provided by remote wipe capabilities. Remote wipe is available on devices with SIM cards for 3G and 4G data networks. But the main condition is that the device should be connected to the network.

Most mobile device management products include basic security functionality. They also enable greater visibility, application provisioning, and policy configuration for any mobile device that accesses network resources. These functions are key security controls and their centralized management makes them practical.

Larger firms may want to maintain mobile antivirus, intrusion detection, firewall measures as part of a centrally managed mobile security solution. In that situation, malware protection system can play an important role in an enormous picture that includes mobile device activation, authorization etc.

Each Mobile Device Management system has a core server that maintains information about all of the devices under management. The primary functions of a core system are to track the hardware, software licenses and other critical data. Templates are often used to define the hardware, software and configurations that apply to each device type.

When a device is first examined or when patches are issued, it can be provisioned with the appropriate software and configurations. Claiming IT control over mobile devices is a growing task. Under certain critical circumstances, correctly provisioned devices are reconfigured or become corrupted.

Some Mobile Device Managements can audit mobile devices to detect those corruptions. MDM s has the capability to restore devices by using the backup or freshly provisioned state. At present cloud-based, Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service), Paas (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) options have been increasing in a huge manner to replace the servers.

Author Bio :-

Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of Zoplay.com, best PHP scripts Development Company located in India. Zoplay is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which developed a Zoplay Scripts.

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