How to keep your mobile applications safe

For mobile device users, application technology (AKA the mobile device app) has emerged as a fast, flexible and convenient way to access information, personal data and commercial services on the go.

shutterstock_223712359Offering increased functionality as well as specific in-app services, mobile apps have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years — with the top apps receiving more than 10 million downloads per day according to a recent report.

Naturally, the popularity of mobile apps has encouraged many organisations to develop their own versions of the technology. Not only does this grant them greater commercial clout in their marketplace (just look at Starbucks), it gives consumers access to a range of convenient new services and mobile-exclusive content.

As with any new and emerging tech however, a number of security issues have arisen in the on-going integration of mobile application technology. Hackers have developed sophisticated malware that specifically targets mobile apps — leading to increased security vulnerabilities for both consumers and businesses.

To help you launch a handy and engaging mobile app that’s also secure, here’s some help and advice about how to keep your mobile applications safe.

What’s your data capture policy?

Contemporary mobile devices are capable of capturing consumer data in a countless number of ways. Whilst this can prove helpful in some instances, it also makes devices susceptible to external malware threats, putting consumer and corporate data at risk. To offset the hazards of data capture sensors, it’s important to implement a structured approach to mobile device management (MDM) that affords complete security control.

Implement stringent access controls

According to a recent BBA report on the changing state of the banking sector, the organisation found that 14 million of us now rely on mobile banking apps for our day-to-day financing needs. Naturally, this has led to extensive development of advanced access controls, with biometric scans, pattern swipes and facial recognition proving to be the most successful security access measures. By integrating similar security protocols into a mobile app, businesses stand a much greater chance of safeguarding sensitive company and consumer data.

Layer security controls

Given the extensive lengths that hackers are going to in order to gain access to sensitive data via mobile apps, it is imperative companies use a considered, multi-layered approach to app security. Experienced mobile security practitioners, UK MDM, advise: “By incorporating stringent device-level security protocols, including the encryption of data and the implementation of a secure cloud sharing platform, businesses can guarantee comprehensive security against an innumerable range of malware and associated security threats.”

Use antivirus software

Guaranteeing complete protection from data loss, business-grade antiviral software is an essential measure in ensuring complete mobile app security. Should they invest in a robust, high-performance antivirus suite, businesses will effectively prevent malware from infecting the mobile device operating system — something which has become a major problem, particularly on the Android operating system.

Manage in-house security policies

Whilst the deployment, management and maintenance of the mobile security infrastructure predominantly rests within an SME’s IT department — it is vital the entire workforce is made aware of the importance of mobile app security. By implementing an interdepartmental approach to mobile security, companies are much less likely to experience catastrophic corporate data loss. To instil the significance of mobile security, provide ample vocational training, and ensure all staff members are aware of their individual responsibilities when it comes to mobile app security.