Common Mobile App Security Issues

Most recently, many big names such as Yahoo, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc., have been through a PR disaster just because of security blunders with their mobile apps.

Even though these companies have reworked security measures in their apps, it’s hard to regain consumers’ trust. That’s why it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive for mobile app security.

This article explains the most common and overlooked security issues to app developers.

Most Common mobile app security issues

Insecure Data Storage

mobile app security issues

In January 2014, Starbucks, the most used mobile app in America was found to be storing users’ data in plain text format. When CNBC reported about compromised user data, around 3 million people deleted the app from their smartphone.

The clear, plain text displays all sensitive information of the users, allowing malicious individuals to log into the Starbucks website using others’ credentials.

Lesson? App developers should choose secure data storage that stores users’ credentials in an encrypted format.

Poor Server-Side Security

You’re sure that you’ve developed a 100% secure app. But, what about server-side security?

Server-side security is often overlooked, and this negligence results in the loss of sensitive data that app users share with you.

To avoid such issues, get a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification. Never use low-grade security encryption to prevent data leakage.

Poor security encryption and lack of SSL is an invitation to hackers to exploit your app.

Broken Cryptography

Broken cryptography happens due to the incorrect implementation or poor encryption. Hackers make use of these weaknesses and decrypt the important data to its original form for inappropriate use.

Other common reasons for broken cryptography are-

  • Complete reliance on built-in encryption process
  • Using custom encryption protocols
  • Using insecure algorithms

The best practice to prevent broken cryptography is using finer encryption protocols and proper implementation process for data encryption without errors.

Broken Cryptography

Using Code From Other Developers

Coding an app from scratch is really mind-boggling. To avoid such hassle, many app developers turn to free code available on the internet. A BIG mistake!

Hackers understand this tendency and create codes in the hope that app developers will pick their code. So, they get access to the desired information once you release your app.

Building an app on the ideas of others is not wrong. Just do your deep research. Read each line of the code for scams and use codes from verified and reliable sources only.

Poor Session Handling

Improper session handling means the continuance of the previous session for a long duration. Usually, online shopping stores enable longer sessions to speed up the purchase process.

This practice is dangerous if a mobile device gets stolen. Any individual who gets the phone may access the app and misuse important data.

So, ensure to enable re-authentication in your mobile app, especially for important actions, like purchases and access to significant information.

The Amazon mobile app is an excellent example of ‘PROPER’ session handling. Users can browse products at their judgment, but they have to sign in again for placing the final order.

So, if you have a mobile app idea, make sure you develop a solid and secure product before you launch it in the market.

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