Computing Magazine

Check List to Secure Mobile App Development

Posted on the 13 May 2016 by Savita Singh @Compgeekblog

The world out there has more internet-connected smart devices then humans. Every hand of an 86 percent of the average mobile user in America is seen connected to a smartphone or 3G/4G tablet. The use of mobile phone continues to grow at a very high rate with app dedication in domination. When race gets a hit on the track, the security concerns are overrated.

Online app distributors like Google Play Store and Apple App Store are no doubt delivering value. However, with the growing app dominance there are numerous organizations and developers that are launching their own apps. Everyone wants an app in market- are all these developments secure?

To put this concern into perspective, our recent research on Mobile app development security with help of VeztekUSA leads us to some factors. You can follow those below, but before that you should know the factor that is making malicious hacking possible. It’s the organizations where employees are allowed to bring in and use their personal smartphones.

The policy these organizations adapt to is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This provides a positive experience to the users but makes the IT department go through the risk of un-securing the access to data on enterprise systems. Thus, mix usage leads to unsure assumptions for the underlying security issues and this unknown territory enables hacking easy. Now, before jumping into the app development security concern here are the ADIDS steps that you should be prepared with:

The Five Major Steps App Development Preparation

Just like any project, the development of an app requires preparation. For mobile app development it is necessary to understand the entire environment within which the enterprise will work. You should be aware if that environment will yield a smooth development process and accelerate implementation. Whether the app is developed by a third party vendor or it is created in-house, for a successful development keep a close check of: Audience, the data, infrastructure, the deployment of app, and t6he support.

  • Audience- Determine the appropriate audience; understanding if one or more than one app is required, develop personas. Understand what the audience need; web site visitor is different to a mobile user, see to the perspectives, determine the platform to be used, limit the devices accessing the site if the app is mobile web.

  • Data- Determine data to present on the app, understand the data that needs to make accessible off line.

  • Infrastructure- Determine the systems on which data resides, establish web services for accessing data.

  • Deployment- Every app store has its own submission and registration fee so understand the assets needed for the deployment.

  • Support- It should be clear who will support the app, and plan before hand for knowledge transfer.

Secure Mobile App Development

  • Keep the Coding Secure- The bugs in the design of an application or in its coding are always tapered by mobile malware. The malicious code has been accounted to infect 11.6 million mobile devices and this number has increased to twentyfold. Attackers have the potential of obtaining a copy of the app and reverse engineer it, even before the vulnerability gets exploited. The famous applications get repackaged as “rogue apps” and are posted on third party app store along with the malicious code. Thus, developers should be aid with tools that can detect and close vulnerabilities.

  • The Device Should Be Secured– The security of the application is directly proportional to the device. If the device is jail broken or rooted the presence of rogue apps can lead to execution risks. Organizations can gauge the security of the underlying device by: The app sandbox should be intact, the devices should not be able to access organization data, the jailbreak technology and its ways of evading detection should be coped with, up to date application reputation service and intelligence sources should be considered, and depending on the risk level the application or data capabilities should be disabled or enabled.

  • The Data Should be Secured- The data when shared with non enterprise applications, the potential of data loss is heightened. Mobile data encryption can be used for securing data and remote wipe can also be looked into for addressing lost or stolen devices. Furthermore, for controlling application data sharing on devices, data elements should be encrypted individually.

  • The Transaction has to be Secured– The risk tolerance of transaction varies because users are enabled by mobile applications for transacting with enterprise services on the go. Organizations should make approaches for executing risk aware transactions which restrict client side functionalities based mobile risk factors and policies (these include: user location, device security attributes, and network connection securities). Organizations can further leverage mobile risk engine for correlating risk factors as IP velocity.

Conclusion

Business executives and IT professionals should be considering how mobility impacts their business risk profile-in the age of BYOD. Enterprises jump into developing mobile applications but do not take into account the preparation required for successful deployment of an app.  There are five major ADIDS steps that should be looked into before embarking on a mobile app development journey. A careful development as well as a through know how of the process ensures smooth execution. You can avoid difficulties by being careful and prepared, but for success in the development process you need to actually understand your creation.


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