Ensuring Security of Data on Mobile Applications

Ensuring Security of Data on Mobile Applications

When your company's app holds millions of users' data, and has hundreds of thousands of people using the app at any given time, data security is paramount. Your client users expect that their data, especially sensitive personal or financial information, will be safe when they use your app, and you have a responsibility to ensure that it is.

Apps for banks and other financial institutions are often targets for hackers, scammers, and fraudsters, so leaders have an obligation to their client users to go above and beyond to keep everyone's data secure. Did you know, according to a recent survey:

  • 58% of Gen Z prefer to open a bank account via mobile app;
  • 55% of Millennials are more concerned about fraud than they were last year;
  • 36% of Gen X would share more personal information in exchange for better service; and
  • Only 63% of Boomers feel their financial services organization will protect them from fraud, the lowest percentage of any generation.

According to Statista, 53.96% of web traffic comes from mobile phones. Best-in-class mobile app security prevents data leaks, deters hackers and scammers, and adheres to all relevant regulations and guidelines. Additionally, comprehensive data security has a very positive impact on client and investor confidence, as well as your company's bottom line. As a leader you know that there is no currency more valuable than trust, and earning and keeping your client's trust is top priority

Mobile-first security methods

We're in an era where people use their mobile phones for almost everything, so designers and developers now use a mobile-first approach that includes the following security protocols:

  • Installing anti-malware on all mobile phones
  • Using anti-tampering measures that prevent reverse engineering or code modification
  • Masking user passwords and enabling user authentication
  • Enabling inter-process communication (IPC) protection, which allows for communication between apps and the system

Encrypt all mobile communications

It's always recommended to encrypt user data across your app because it makes data unreadable for hackers. You have two options when it comes to encryption:

symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption uses the same security key to both encrypt and decrypt user data, while asymmetric encryption uses different keys for the two processes.

Secure Codes and User Authentication

If your app opens straight away without requiring a secure code or a Face ID, then your client user's personal data is at risk. Always require users to enter a six-digit secure code in order to access your app, and we recommend combining that with user authentication. User authentication is when the user receives a one-time code via text message or email that they must enter before they can open your app. User authentication is especially critical for banks and other financial services organizations.

Minimize Storage of Sensitive Data

Ideally you won't have any confidential user data stored in your app or on your server. The more sensitive client data you have stored either in your app or on your server, the larger the risk is to you and your company. If you find it's unavoidable, then be sure you're using encrypted key chains or data containers, and make sure that user logs are automatically deleted after a certain time frame.

Prevent unintended data leaks

Every client user agrees to your terms and conditions when they install and use your app. If your terms and conditions allow for select businesses and brands to have access to your clients' personal data, it's critical that you use secure analytics providers. The last thing you want is for your client data to be leaked due to business vendors with bad intentions.

Hire experts to test your apps

Penetration testing, also called ethical hacking, is when a security expert exposes any flaws in your app. Much like products are tested before being put on a shelf in the store, mobile apps require rigorous testing to ensure they'll keep your data safe.

Because the world of online data security is constantly evolving, and because malicious hackers are finding new ways to steal data every day, we recommend running penetration tests on your apps on a regular basis. You would much rather have a paid professional find a security flaw in your app than someone with bad intentions!

If you'd like more information about ensuring security of data on mobile applications, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Atimi today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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