11 November 2017

5 Mistakes That Are Causing Security Glitches in Your App

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The Google Play Store has nearly three million apps while the Apple App Store hosts over two million apps in its database. Today, the number of smartphone users has increased rapidly, and according to statistics, 50% of smartphone users start using their mobile phones immediately after waking up and 89% of their mobile time is spent using different apps.

Fix security glitches in app

Times have changed, and today mobile devices with the help of apps allow us to do nearly everything online. From online banking and shopping for our favorite items to use the Internet of Things to control home devices, mobile gadgets have added convenience to our lives. However, the innovation in technology has made the users more sophisticated over time, and they now expect a better and a more personalized experience. In such circumstances, there is no room for mistakes.

Unfortunately, apps and mobile devices are prominent targets of malicious activity and according to the Arxan Technology’s report regarding app security, 90% of apps surveyed had at least 2/10 of OWASP's significant security risks.

Another report indicates that 77% of mobile users stop using an app in just three days if they are not satisfied with the experience. The Arxan report also showed that around 50% of organizations hadn't allocated any spending towards mobile app security which costs the U.S. economy more than $59.5 billion annually.

If you are in the process of creating an app or have an app in the market, chances are you have already considered how to secure your app, data, and your customer’s data. To assist you more, here are some of the five mistakes that developers usually make which can cause security glitches in the app.

1. Not securing customer’s data

Consumer’s data should never be stored locally. Mobile apps are used for various purposes by consumers, and on more than one occasion, they enter their personal data, bank/credit card information, and sensitive passwords during runtime. This data, unfortunately, can be collected by ‘faulty' apps without the consumer knowing, leading to several problems including breach of privacy. 

Therefore, it is important that proper encryption methods are used to protect customer’s data. For example, passwords should be stored in Key Chain for Apple devices while the Key Store is ideally used to enhance the security of Android gadgets. Furthermore, it is essential that security checks are frequently run after a mobile app is distributed.

2. Broken authentication

Releasing an app with broken authentication makes it very vulnerable to hacking. App developers should carefully develop strong authentication and test it before launching the app to avoid any problems in the future. It is also essential that authentication control meets the guidelines created by the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard.

3. Lack of API strategy

Mobile development is highly dependent on APIs which serves as the primary channel for content, functionality, and content. This is why not ensuring the security of API can hinder the security of mobile apps. Identification, authentication, and authorization are the primary security measures that comprise a well-built API security stack.

4. Reusing codes from other developers

Testers are often working under pressure and since developing an app takes time, many times the testers are enticed to take shortcuts. There are many free codes available online, and many app developers try to cut corners by using codes that are written by other developers. Unfortunately, this can cause many errors in the app and often lead to hacking of the user's data. Thus, it is essential that software developers write their codes and, if required, only take codes from highly reputable sources.

5. Not testing apps

The importance of testing cannot be stressed enough, and according to stats, 44% of the in-app defects are found by the customers themselves. Another survey shows that 50% of mobile app users will immediately delete an app if they find even a single problem in it.

The user experience is of the utmost importance in today's digital age. Therefore, if the apps don’t meet the consumer’s expectations, chances are they will not only uninstall your app but will also ‘bad mouth' your brand, consequently causing your company to face immense failure and bad reputation.

Testing should be considered an integral part of the app development phase. There are many software testing tools available online including Bugzilla, Accelq, You Track, and Pivotal Tracker that you can use to assure the quality of your apps.

How do you maintain the security of your app?

Mentioned above are just some of the common reasons that can frequently cause a security breach in launched apps. If you also have an app that is under construction, then make sure you are not making these mistakes that can make your company lose its revenue as well as reputation.
Erica Silva blogger

About the Author

Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology, science and brain health. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1

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