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10 strategies for better enterprise mobile app security

calendar_todayDecember 18, 2017

Ubiquitous enterprise mobility lets the employees stay connected and use mobile devices on the move, wherever and whenever, for seamless transfer of massive sensitive data.  Large enterprises are collaborating toward a smarter and more connected world through the innovative use of mobile apps to deliver data, services, and, real-time tracking, and analytics for making informed decisions. Wherever mobility thrives, hackers are ready to target mobile apps and devices for malicious activities. 

It is reported that 90% of apps surveyed had at least 2 out of 10 apps had major security risks, according to the recent surveys. It is also reported that around 50% of organizations haven’t allocated any spending toward mobile app security. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important that enterprises should seriously consider mobile app security to secure your app and protect your customer’s data and work together for enterprise mobility solutions to mitigate attacks,  emphasizing integration, and avoid long-term contracts. Here’s a look at ten strategies for enterprises to consider with mobile app security, and help protect their mobile assets from every angle.

1. Strong Authentication

Strong authentication and authorization through Open Authorization (OAuth), Two-factor Authentication (2FA) and Multifactor Authentication (MFA) provide an extra layer of security to the login process. One-click integration of advanced authentication, biometrics, and mobile identity solutions is used for fraud protection.

2. Data Encryption

Data encryption translates data into another form, or code, so that data stored locally is secure and only people with access to a secret key or password can read the encrypted data. Any payment related data we can encrypt and send to the server because leaky apps can release payment information without users knowing it. 

3. Secure App Code

There are a number of security vulnerabilities and risks that are built into the mobile applications source code in order to crash, compromise user data and activities or cause an unintended behavior to occur on the device.  In order to prevent an attack from hacking your own API, secure the app code with API encryption, test your source code, patch and update, and optimize usage.  

4. Secure Transaction

Data servers encrypt and decrypt the data with an encryption key and remove cache of data along with card information in the transaction.

5. Remote Wipe

Mobile users are increasingly vulnerable to hacker attacks to exploit user data.  Configure and update the mobile device remotely, over-the-air. Remote data wipe capabilities in the mobile app enable users to clear sensitive information from the local database of a device to ensure safety and security for lost or stolen devices.

6. API Security

Parameter attacks exploit the data sent into an API, including URL, query parameters, HTTP headers, and/or post content. Identify attacks that intercept legitimate transactions and exploit unsigned and/or unencrypted data being sent between the client and the server. Each API should require app-level authentication. The first step for any resilient API implementation is to sanitize all incoming data to confirm that it is valid and will not cause harm. Make SSL/TLS the rule for all APIs. Apply rigorous authentication and authorization using OAuth.

7. Network Connection

Provide additional security with a VPN (virtual private network), SSL (secure sockets layer), or TLS (transport layer security). Use federation that spreads resources out across servers, and separates key resources from users, with encryption measures.

8. App Testing

App testing is crucial to development and promotion. All types of apps, whether it’s native, hybrid, or web app, functionality and usability testing should be done to detect vulnerabilities in the code and ensure proactive security measure. Consult a network security specialist to conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments of your network to ensure the right data is protected in the right ways. Test apps for authentication, authorization, and session tracking. Perform app testing in a simulated environment with emulators.    

9. Device Access Control

Control and protect physical access to the device by a policy-defined password, keystroke pattern, biometric scan, hand geometry, facial location or recognition, iris scan, voice recognition, or signature based on the data collected from the sensors.

10. Mobile App Wrapping

App approval process isn’t easy either. App store is known for rejecting apps that are incomplete, slow to load, and contain major bugs that are difficult to fix. If apps aren’t monetized through In-App Purchases (IAP), there are possibilities of rejection of your app. Apps shouldn’t spam their users or be obvious copycats or clones of other apps. Also, apps have to comply with specific laws or regulations to make the approval process smooth.

Mobility is pervasive and increasingly hackers are lurking to steal sensitive information and compromise app security. With a solid mobile app solution and a mobile security strategy on hand to help you respond quickly to threats and bugs, your app will be a safer, more secure place for users.

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