Avoiding security concerns when developing mobile solutions

April 21, 2014

One of the unavoidable problems in the average mobile solutions development process comes from security issues. Most people don't consider every aspect necessary in development that could effectively harm their product, but keeping an eye on the right and wrong practices can mean the difference between a successful app release and customer problems reverberating for months.

Insecure data storage is the most pressing problem, according to InformationWeek. Starbucks' app is one of the most widely used mobile payment apps, but the company has noted that it stores its data ineffectively, keeping them in clear text. If anyone were to crack the app, they would be able to collect such information without any issues. As such, encryption should always be enacted no matter the specific development language used.

Implementing server-side controls and preventing data leakage were also noted to be important considerations during development. In creating a mobile app, some businesses may expose systems that were previously inaccessible. Keeping these methods protected is very important to prevent any major issues arising from anyone digging into product code. At the same time, these gaps may be completely unintended. These can be exposed in a number of different ways, ranging from analytics being hosted off-server or off-site being exposed to data movement not going as planned. Covering tracks is an important concern in this light.

Prevent broken code
Systems that rely on algorithms and protocols can see a number of problems. It's important to not create one's own, but instead use modern algorithms that are more widely accepted. It's important to look at every option available on the market, avoiding the mistake of keeping widely known security flaws inside the app itself. Otherwise, this implementation can backfire.

Of course, in some situations, your users will be the weak link. Some mobile apps can accept data from a number of different sources, but if they're unrefined, such as a wireless hotspot, security efforts will be all for naught. It's important to check all inputs used to build the app.

According to Network World, too few development companies are using the right security strategies. More than 40 percent of professionals say that their primary concerns involve put new data protection aspects into place on their networks. The remaining 60 percent or so have not placed their efforts in this same context, which is a major issue for almost any mobile development company.