The cyber world is evolving, and so is cybercrime. In 2016, Ponemon Institute established that the average cost of losing sensitive corporate or personal information is approximately $ 4 billion. The FBI reports that more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur daily, while other research sources state 230,000 new malware samples are produced every day.
In response to these emerging cybercrimes and malwares on the cyber world, there is a great need for app development companies to improve cyber security processes during the development of an application.
The following are some of the ways app development companies can embrace in an attempt to reduce cybercrime:
a. Regular testing
When developing an app, its security testing is normally one of the initial development steps. The testing should not be done just once rather, it should be a continuous and frequent process. In today’s world, there are those people, the hackers, who work 24/7 round the clock, day and night to find an open window so as to frustrate app users. They never get tired.
Each and every day, new malwares are created and this is exactly why app security testing should never be a onetime thing. It is important to always come up with new robust strategies to prevent the new emerging threats. This regular security checks for any vulnerabilities can be performed by investing in emulators, threat modelling and penetration testing.
b. Adopting a high level authentication
An authentication system is one of the most important feature in an app. Authentication feature provides security for the app and prevents important user information from getting into the wrong hands. A weak authentication system definitely make it easier for the hackers and cyber crooks to breach the system and access the user’s private information.
This therefore calls for a need to have a strong authentication system to guard and protect the app. Personal identifiers such as passwords and fingerprints will help to secure assessment to the apps. Some of the authentication measures developers can adopt to improve their security includes the alphanumeric passwords, use of biometric authentication such as use of fingerprints or retina scans amongst others.
c. Use of secure code
Coding has remained to be one of the biggest problem faced by app developers when it comes to matters pertaining cyber threats. Most public codes, or rather generic codes are made by hackers and then put to our disposal so that out lazy selves can quickly use them in our app development processes. By doing this, it is like we are handing over the keys to our apps to these hackers.
This is what these hackers basically look for so as to gain entry into our system and create havoc. Vulnerabilities in our coding gives the hackers an easy time to break into our apps. This therefore shows why an app developing company needs to use its own produced, pure, safe and secure codes.
It is said that an app is 50% safe from cyberattacks when the code is pure, safe and secure. By using your own codes, you will have given the hackers a hard time to break into your system. You can also prevent the hackers from restructuring your code by obfuscating and minifying every bit of it.
d. Leverage expertise
It is pretty obvious that in app development, a coding expert cannot solely successfully implement data encryption, ensure firewalls are correctly deployed and updated to manage intrusion detection.
This means that for an app to have a strong security against cyber criminals, there is need to have a team with diverse skills ranging from business analyst to technical architect, front end developers, security experts and critically testers. This team of specialists will ensure that a robust security methodology is followed, and will also prove credentials by achieving security standards such as the ISO 27001 accreditation and Cyber Essential Plus etc.
e. Reviewing Case Studies from Large Organizations
Reviewing case studies will help one to understand how large organizations are improving their security protections. While reviewing case studies, focusing on studies dealing with both web and mobile apps will give you a clearer picture on what is expected of you during development of your own app.
You should investigate on how these large organizations detect and fix vulnerabilities in their software development life cycle with the main aim of making their app secure. It is also important to read other resources that help you to learn how to detect and remediate mobile app security attacks.
For example, IBM Application Security on Cloud, will helo you manage application security risk and at the same time allows you to prioritize time to market your new mobile app. You should as well find tools that help you identify security issues in your app and provide detailed reports that point out the vulnerabilities as well as recommend remediation steps to fix the security issues.
f. Encrypt Data
Data encryption simply means converting the data into a form that it cannot not read by anyone without decrypting it. This is one of the best ways of ensuring your data is saved and prevent it from being used in a malicious way by the hackers. This means that even when stolen, the hacker has no way, or rather, it will prove to be very difficult for him to decrypt it. The data will therefore be of no use to them. Developing an app in such a way that all the data in it is encrypted very well is one of the practices of preventing cybercrime.
g. Develop Tamper Detection Techniques for Your App
This method is used to get alerts when your code is being modified or changed. Often, it is essential to have a log of code changes of your mobile app so that a malicious programmer does not inject bad code into your application. Try to have triggers designed for your application to keep logs of activities.
h. Provide Least Privileges
The principle of least privilege is often necessary for your app code security. It is preferable to give access to the code to only those who are intended to receive them, and the rest should not be given the privileges, keeping it minimum. Try to keep the network as little as possible.