Why Should Developers Care About Mobile App Protection?
Published on August 23, 2023 by PreEmptive Team
These days, mobile app attacks are rampant. With an ever-growing culture of habitual smartphone use, we now see mobile apps as a staple in our lives, and cybercriminals are taking advantage of that.
Malicious actors continuously try to find new ways to infiltrate apps, steal user data, and even disrupt services altogether. All this can occur even if an app has no sensitive data or features, meaning vulnerabilities can often go undetected for quite some time.
That said, many people don’t worry too much about mobile app protection. What’s even more concerning, some app developers still consider security a low priority, which can be bad for their work in several ways.
This article explains why developers should pay more attention to user data protection and highlights how to protect mobile apps most efficiently.
📲 What Is Mobile App Protection?
Mobile app protection (MAP) is a security feature offered by some mobile operating systems, most notably Android, to help protect smartphone and tablet users from unauthorized access to their apps and data. MAP provides an added layer of security by verifying the identity of app users and requesting you to grant specific permissions before installing an app. It can also provide security features such as password locking and file encryption to ensure your information remains confidential.
In some cases, mobile app protection may also include antivirus protection and firewalls to ensure the complete security of mobile applications.
⚠️ The Importance of Mobile App Protection
Mobile app protection is an essential aspect of digital security for both developers and users. For developers, it provides a safe environment to develop applications while preserving the user’s data. Mobile app protection also serves as a deterrent against malicious cyber attacks and provides the best protection against disrupting criminal activities.
For users, mobile app protection ensures that their private information remains confidential and secure, preventing identity theft or other data breaches. Additionally, Android app protection can help to keep apps up-to-date and compliant with relevant regulations.
💻 How Is User Safety the Responsibility of App Developers?
Mobile apps can jeopardize users’ private data without proper safety features, and the blame can fall on those who developed those apps. That’s why developers must protect apps from potential harm, keeping track of cyber threats in the digital world and making their products resistant. Doing so is essential both during development and after app release. App builders should create secure apps from the ground up and perform regular code reviews and testing to find and correct vulnerabilities promptly.
The question is, how to make an app secure? Developers can ensure mobile security through several methods, including adopting security measures such as passwords and encryption, monitoring for signs of malicious behavior, and avoiding known vulnerabilities. Additionally, they can work with their security vendor to set up proper security measures on their app, such as incorporating codesigned certificates.
As highlighted, protecting user information is the responsibility of developers, such as ensuring that user IDs and passwords are securely stored. These professionals also have to check whether notifications and advertisements in their applications are appropriate and not excessive.
As developers have all these responsibilities, they continuously need to educate themselves about mobile application security threats and practices to prevent potential issues and ensure excellent work results.
Why Is Mobile Application Security Critical for Finance and Healthcare Services?
It’s good to mention that some industries require more mobile app protection than others. For instance, finance and healthcare systems own critical data of patients and customers that must be secure. Any damage to security or loss of this data can cause serious legal issues for organizations and lead to distrust in patients and customers. In addition to fines and legal implications, such breaches can threaten customers’ privacy as potentially harmful information can fall into the wrong hands.
Considering these two sectors own such significant data, they are more sensitive to cyberattacks that want to steal and use this information to their advantage. That’s why both finance and healthcare systems tend to be more demanding when it comes to mobile app usability and safety. To create apps that meet the high standards in these industries, developers must take steps to protect their apps from harm and make them easy to use for users.
⚖️ Liabilities of Lax Security
When the security of an Android application is lax, many potential liabilities can occur. These include lost data, stolen identities, and financial losses due to fraudulent activity.
One of the most common ways an Android application can get compromised is by the use of insecure storage locations. By default, Android applications store user data such as login credentials and other sensitive information in plaintext format on the device’s internal storage. This makes it easy for third-party attackers to access this information and use it to launch attacks against the application or its users.
It’s also important to remember that not all Android devices are equally secure. If you’re using an insecure device for your Android applications, protect them by opting for a mobile encryption solution like Dotfuscator.
⚙️ Big App Security Blunders of 2022 to Continue Avoiding in 2023
In September of 2022, American Airlines disclosed that they were the target of a data breach by phishing attacks. The attack involved hackers sending out messages to airline employees, attempting to get them to click on a link that would take them to a fake website and steal their login information. According to American Airlines, around 1,708 people had their login credentials stolen during this attack.
In late 2021, a hacker published data on 5.4 million Twitter users by exploiting an API vulnerability. This data included usernames, phone numbers, and other personal information. The hack resulted from a lack of proper security measures installed by app developers, who allowed unsecured access to their API.
In fact, both attacks were easy to prevent with proper app-hardening solutions. With PreEmptive protection tools, for instance, developers can easily protect user data and prevent cyberattacks. Different features of these tools, such as obfuscation (e.g., renaming, string encryption, and more) and active runtime checks (tamper, debug, root, and more), deter hackers from cracking the codes and ensure user safety in real time.
✅ The Ultimate Security Solution for Developers
Making an app secure enough for users is a concern of every mobile application developer. Fortunately, you don’t need to look far to find an ultimate app shielding solution.
PreEmptive products help developers to obfuscate code and protect against all types of malware attacks. They allow you to hide user strings in your assembly, inject code that verifies your application’s integrity at runtime, and provide a high level of resistance to hacking and tampering.
Whether you are looking to improve the security of your current apps or develop new ones, PreEmptive can help you reach your goals.
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