Mobile App Security: How Important it is Post-Cambridge Analytica Era?
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Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there was quite an uproar in public across the world. Media (and Congress) thumped Mark Zuckerberg right, left and center. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook resurfaced with much rigor and passion; this time not to prove Snapchat is much better but over privacy concerns.
According to a survey by Carolina Milanesi and Techpinions, following the ‘Delete Facebook’ campaign…
- 9 percent of Americans have deleted their Facebook account completely;
- 17 percent have deleted the Facebook app from their phones over privacy concern; and
- 35 percent of them are using the social media less than they used to over privacy issue.
What does this whole episode reveal?
Not very complexly, it underlines one simple fact that many companies simply overlook and undermine—USERS LOVE THEIR PRIVACY. And if there’s a threat to their personal data, they don’t mind stopping the use of the product or service in question—even if it’s the mighty Facebook that seemed to be so deeply penetrated in our lifestyle.
So, if you’re a mobile app developer or an app-based business owner, security of your product should be the foremost concern and priority. Because the ways your system can be hacked, and data stolen, have multiplied and even become easier. And courtesy of mainstream media, the end users know this very well; they are more alarmed about the personal data your app accesses and saves.
Even a hint of loophole or reluctance towards security in your app can trigger them up, losing you all the market credibility and goodwill. And this might err, will jeopardize the existence of your whole business.
Thankfully, enhancing your app security isn’t even difficult. Just a little vigilantism in the development process can greatly help your case. Here are 5 basic but powerful app security tips that will take you a long way:
1. Identify threats in your domain
Keep up with all the latest happenings in your industry— about the threats there exist, new risks creeping in and various other aspects. Unless you’re well-informed in this department, how are you really going to secure your app!
2. Use encryption
It’s one of the best ways to secure mobile applications. A 256-bit AES encryption can help encode the data transmitted from the device of users. So, even when with access to data, hackers would fail to extract any relevant details from that.
3. Secure your server
The server that saves the database must be highly protected. So, choose your hosting very carefully, if you’re going for a third-party. Also, ensure the APIs accessing the app’s server has multiple security measures in place to prevent eavesdropping on sensitive details in the database.
4. Use authentication technology
When users are trying to access the app, they should go through the identification, authentication and authorization process to prove they are really the user that they are playing to be. This added layer of security can make all the difference.
There’s no alternative to testing in mobile app development. Spend an awful lot of time in this area. And don’t just test for functionality and usability but pay equal attention to the security front. Stimulate and use brute force to spot loopholes. Fix, if you see one!