Taking the Right Security Measures

Most users want to know that the apps they use are developed with security in mind. Many even take it for granted that their information is safe until they learn otherwise. You want your users to feel this kind of confidence in your product, so you should take security very seriously at every stage of the development process.

tech
September 22, 2020
Taking the Right Security Measures

Most users want to know that the apps they use are developed with security in mind. Many even take it for granted that their information is safe until they learn otherwise. You want your users to feel this kind of confidence in your product, so you should take security very seriously at every stage of the development process.

This article will provide five key things you can do to ensure that security is built into every part of your app’s development and maintenance.

Plan Security Measures from the Beginning

A common, yet critical, mistake is to ignore security for the sake of getting the app through development and posted faster. To build an app that is more difficult to hack, security needs to be built into the app from the beginning. Every stage of the development process needs to be considered during each phase and every time a new functionality or feature is added to the app.

Think of security measures as basic requirements of the app, not as functionality being added to it. It will require the same phased approach as all of the other major app components.

Take a Comprehensive Approach

Just like you have planning and testing for other parts of the app, you will need to include robust analysis. This will include threat modeling analysis to help you detect any weak spots and the app’s vulnerabilities. Analysis and threat modeling will help you to determine where you need more focus so that you can make changes to the app long before you are locked into a set approach.

During each phase, there are several key aspects that you need to consider to keep your app as secure as possible:

  • The platform
  • Use cases
  • App settings and management
  • Method of sign-on and authentication
  • Controls for data loss prevention
  • Social media capabilities

All of these components will help you to determine what kind of security will work the best for your app. This will need to be included in all phases of the process and during the analyses. This could result in a change in your security measures, but it is better to learn that as early as possible rather than at the end of the development cycle.

Know What Kind of Data You Will Store and Secure

Some apps require a minimal amount of personal data, such as name and password. Others store credit card information, connections to PayPal (or other app payment platforms), and birthdates. The more data your app stores, the more secure it will need to be.

For the more sensitive information, you will want to encrypt the data to ensure that it isn’t easily accessed by unauthorized people. Encryption doesn’t prevent hackers from breaking into the app; it keeps hackers from being able to see the data if they are able to access it.

Centralize Authorized Apps

It is almost certain that your app will interact with other apps. To better control access and authentication, centralize the authorization to make it easier to track access. This provides maximum security for your app. You will need to make sure to have high-level authentication as well. If the authentication is too weak, it provides a false sense of security that may result in people providing more details than they should. Strong passwords are a good start, but adding features like multi-factor authentication and password recovery after lockout will help to keep data safe even if someone tries to access it from another app.

Frequent Testing

This has already been mentioned several times, but it is important to realize just how critical security testing is. As one of the most critical aspects of your app, it will need to be tested as you develop it and other parts of your app.

Security testing also needs to be a part of the regular maintenance. This includes reviewing legal requirements and changes to ensure that your app is in compliance. These will not only require you to make changes, you should test the changes.

You also need to ensure that whenever you make changes, no matter how apparently small, you will need to verify the app’s security is not affected. Even if you don’t think that security should change, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something in the background that is touched. This means creating a test plan that you can use for each new release. This will provide a baseline of testing from which to start. With each new release, you will need to make modifications based on the bugs being repaired, new functionality being released, or updates to existing functionality.

Security is one of the most important aspects of your app, but it is something that many people tend to postpone implementing until the end. It isn’t an added feature – security is an essential component of every app, no matter how simple the app is. The best way to protect your app users is to make it so that they don’t have to worry about their data being secure.