The mobile industry is booming like never before. This has created a number of types of mobile devices, mobile OS’ and apps for the same. Individual app developers and companies are now busy developing apps for multiple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry. While this is great news for developers, manufacturers and end-users alike, the mobile boom is not without its risks. Developer generally creates application from a “functionality first” perspective, but with security as a low priority. This is an unfortunate reality. In fact, using mobile devices is getting to be tricky, as mobile security is getting to be a constant concern. How can mobile app developers ensure maximum mobile security for their clients? What aspects do they need to know about designing a mobile app in a way that it would give the end-user the maximum amount of protection online? It is more risky to develop software for mobile devices than developing enterprise software. The major danger with apps for mobile devices is that they are extremely vulnerable to external attack and can be jailbroken at point of time. This happens especially with devices such as Android and the iPhone. A jailbroken device gives an experienced hacker access to the source code, thus possibly enabling him or her to change and redevelop the whole mobile app itself as well as analysing code vulnerabilities. Classes of code vulnerabilities, including:
Input/output (I/O) validation and encoding errors
Error handling and logging vulnerabilities
Local data storage in mobile devices
One of the important tasks is to ensure that sensitive client data will not be disclosed on their smartphones after session expiry. The only way to protect your client’s sensitive smartphone data is to develop a particular code that will erase the private data as soon as his or her browsing session expires. Otherwise, the data will continue to remain on the device, causing a potential mobile security hazard. As mobile technology and mobile security techniques keep advancing, hackers too are developing better and more foolproof techniques to gain entry into a mobile system. Hence, manufacturers and developers have to constantly watch over their mobile OS or mobile app and keep checking the system for errors, so as to minimize chances of security breaches. In case data must be remained in device after session expiry, developer must apply secured data encrytion to protect your client sensative data. One example for iOS app to use securing data is using The Data Protection API, Keychain And Cryptography. Beside that, MDM (Mobile Device Management) with features locking and swiping data from mobile device remotely clould be also used to prevent sensative data access in case of device lost. Futher more, mobile apps are usually connected to the internal server. While this is good for the end-user, as it provides him a number of conveniences, it is also disadvantageous, since an experienced hacker can easily get access to this internal server, once he succeeds in jailbreaking it.
Hence, while manufacturers need to look into the hardware part of mobile security, that is, the security features provided in the handset itself; developers need to figure out how and to what extent they want their mobile app to interact with the internal server. Common solutions to secure communication from mobile app to internal server are via SSL and VPN. And mobile Gateway API could be used to enhance security and regulatory compliance through authentication, authorization and audit capabilities. One of the most difficulties is that you may not be able to find too many mobile app developers specializing in mobile security and mobile anti-virus. Nevertheless, there are several experts in the field who can advice you about several aspects of mobile security. Many of these individuals can also help you detect a possible security breach in your mobile app, re-program your app in order to clean it up and also advice you on the actions you can take to prevent similar future attacks. It is desirable for all mobile app development companies to keep a team of such personnel ready at all times.
– TuanNV –