Mobile apps are incredibly powerful for building your brand name, fostering strong communications and relationships with customers, and garnering new customers. The only downside is that security is a big, whopping issue. Here are some security tips you need to make sure your app developers are aware of before you get started on that spectacular new mobile app.

1. Understand the Various Devices You’re Developing the Apps for

Each device is different, with a different OS, interface, and security vulnerabilities. Know what you’re dealing with.

Each operating system (such as Apple iOS and Android) are different. Each has different security strengths and weaknesses. Each set of hardware has peculiar vulnerabilities. Be sure that you know what these are and understand how to develop security measures within the app to optimize the security that is built into the operating system and minimize the security flaws of that particular device.

2. Determine What to Store on the Device Versus What to Transmit Back to Your Database

When you’re developing the app, there will be lots of discussion about what is most convenient to store on the device versus transferring back to the database for storage. These conversations will mostly revolve around what makes the app faster, richer, and easier to use. Add security into that discussion. Talk about whether holding the data on the device or transferring it back to your own database is most safe for the user’s personal data.

3. Consider Data Security While in Transit

You’ll likely spend ample time considering how to keep the data secure on the device and back at your own database, but don’t forget the critical moments when it is in transit between the two. Choose proven algorithms that are up to current standards. Avoid old and outdated algorithms and protocols and don’t try to DIY one unless you have experienced cyber security specialists working together with you on development.

4. Don’t Collect & Store Data You Don’t Need

Make sure you can justify the data you’re collecting on your users. Not only can this data be hacked by the bad guys, it can be leaked to the good guys during government data collection programs. 

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There is one kind of data you never lay awake at night worrying about getting stolen: data you didn’t collect in the first place. Before you develop an app to track and report on every little factor of an individual’s life, make sure that the data you’re collecting has enough value to risk damaging your reputation if it’s stolen.

5. Protect Your Back End Systems

Most of the time, when a company releases their first mobile app, it is the first time their back end systems are opened up to the wide world of the Internet. These systems were not likely built for security, because when they were developed it was never the intent that the systems be made vulnerable to the outside world. Before hooking these back end systems to your mobile app, spend some time building security measures into those vulnerable systems.

6. Test, Test, Test

Of course, you’ll test the app for functionality, to troubleshoot bugs, and to make sure the interface is nice and intuitive. But you also need to spend time testing it for security. Get some white hat hackers to give it all they’ve got. If they can’t get in with some concerted effort, your mobile app is likely secure.

When you’re ready to get started on your new app development project, visit Glance. We know security, and we know mobile app development. We can build a rich, full-featured app that is secure, intuitive, and something you’ll be proud to associate with your brand name.

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