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The Importance of Secure Mobile App Development

Given the growth of smartphones and tablets usage, it has become increasingly important for businesses to develop mobile applications to grow their business and customer reach. On the other hand, hackers have doubled down their efforts to exploit vulnerabilities in these mobile solutions for purposes of stealing information or disrupting operations. For this reason, whether you are looking to build an app yourself or want to hire AngularJS developer to build one for you, understanding the security of your mobile app is crucial.

In this article, we are going to look at what is mobile app security, why it is important for your business, and how it can be applied in the development process.

What Is Mobile App Security?

Simply put, it is any comprehensive security solution/s for mobile apps running on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The primary aim of mobile application security solutions is to protect personal and enterprise data stored in the devices against malware, phishing, and unauthorized access.

As indicated above, mobile devices have cemented themselves in the personal and corporate world. As a result, we have seen the proliferation of mobile-first businesses like Airbnb, Uber, and GrubHub,  which accommodate massive volumes of customer data. And for such a company, minor vulnerabilities in the app can lead to a security breach with catastrophic consequences.

According to a 2018 security analysis conducted on 45,000 apps indicated that 85% of them had major security vulnerabilities caused by insecure data storage, network communications, and subpar coding practices.

In 2019, Positive Technologies released another report showing that up to 76% of mobile applications showed signs of insecure data storage and had a higher chance of exposing customer’s personal data, passwords, and financial information. The same report indicated that iOS mobile applications had a 38% risk vulnerabilities with, Android applications leading at 43%.

Source: Positive Technologies

With such worrying numbers, any business looking to remain competitive can no longer afford to downplay the essence of mobile app security. And the stakes are higher than before considering that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.92 m in 2019 and expected to grow at a 12% rate.

Source: Security Intelligence

To put the cost into perspective, in 2019 Capital One Banks announced that a cybercriminal had gained unauthorized access confidential personal information of over 100 million of its customers. The breach left the bank with a $150 million bill and a shattered reputation.

Let’s now understand the importance of mobile application security:

Importance of Secure Mobile App Development

Facilitates The Bring Your Own Device Concept

As organizations become increasingly supportive of employees working remotely, maintaining a flexible work schedule, or even connecting while on the go,  has led to the prevalence of BYOD solutions.

According to a recent report by Kaspersky, 74% of workers use personal devices to remotely access or physically plug personal devices to the company’s networks and work-related systems, which may contain sensitive or confidential data.

Source: Kaspersky

Although the concept of BYOD may help increase productivity, the other side of the coin is quite unsettling: Establishing the trustability of these personal devices.

Whether it’s a simple task such as a customer support rep remotely accessing mobile app chatbots or even sensitive tasks such as gaining entry to department server, the use of devices that are not sanctioned by IT can be dangerous. Which is why we can’t emphasize more on the security of your mobile app.

Security of Supplementary Networks Isn’t Always Greener

As a business owner, it is always important to remember that security compromises don’t only happen in-house but also elsewhere. Given the fact that employees use their personal devices to access other networks too, it can be hard to establish how strongly these networks are configured and the security threats they may transfer to your system.

By acknowledging the security threat uncertainty posed by employee devices, you are able to carry out a risk assessment and determine the type of data or system they can access.

Threat Intelligence

Hackers have built a whole industry around stealing data. And unfortunately, the “black hat” hackers have been advancing at a relatively faster pace than “white hat” hackers. Worse still, some companies are consumed by the old cybersecurity model of locking the bad guys out. Having said that, the same convenience that allows different correspondents to access data from the comfort of their living rooms also allows hackers to do the same.

And even with threat intelligence being hailed as the next frontier in preventing cyber attacks, companies still continue to see data breaches. This means that firewalling and constant monitoring of network activities are just a part of the solution and not a means to the end.

Steps In Integrating Mobile Application Security In Mobile App Development

Given that different apps are built with tools and technologies, their nature of vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies tend to be unique. However, one thing that almost remains constant is the fact that enterprises will alway remain a bulls-eye target for hackers.

Below, we have listed steps that your AngularJS developer and the rest of the development team can take to help your business counter constant security threats and reduce exposure to risk.

Initial Stage Audit

When looking to build a secure mobile application, always ensure you find AngularJS developer’s that can help establish all the underlying dangers. Together with the design team, they should also be able to help establish the ideal technical environment for the app’s development and deployment.

Effective Threat Modeling

At this stage, your development and security team needs to work together to identify the sensitive areas of the app that mainly deals with sensitive information. Along with pinpointing the critical areas in the app that require an additional layer of security, the team can also use the model to map information flow.

For potential vulnerabilities, your team also needs to develop strategies on how to mitigate risk, once the weak points have been identified. With that said, this process should be conducted after the application has been fully modeled. This is because a secure foundation and efficient use of resources can only be realized by creating a threat modeling at the very initial stages of the development lifecycle and sustained right from when you hire AngularJS programmer’s throughout the development phase.