Mobile app security best practices for 4 vulnerability types

Mobile applications are a must-have for any customer-facing business, and customers expect those apps to be both user-friendly and secure. Because users’ mobile devices contain so much personal information, businesses must design applications that protect that sensitive information from security vulnerabilities.

Let’s examine four common security vulnerability types and the mobile app security best practices that address them.

1. Improper OS usage

It is important to use the secure best practices an OS’s developer recommends. For example, an application can fail to properly use a fingerprint scanner security framework the OS implemented and instead perform user logins with credentials through a fingerprint reader. This mismatch can accidentally expose a user’s credentials to third parties.

The best way to avoid this hazard is to follow the mobile app security best practices recommended by the phone OS developers and manufacturers. Both Apple and Google provide documentation on security features about their respective mobile platforms.

Vulnerabilities that fall under improper platform usage can be hard to detect because what is technically improper can be broadly defined. A good place to start is to use a static code analysis tool. Open source tools SonarQube and Truegaze, for example, will scan an application’s build files for known vulnerabilities or other possible security risks, such as insecure encryption methods. Users can download Truegaze from its repository on GitHub and run it with Python on the command line. SonarQube will require a bit more setup to get a server configured and running. But this can be advantageous for a project with multiple developers because this work only needs to be done once.

2. Insecure data storage

Another mobile app security concern involves vulnerabilities that attackers expose when they gain access to a user’s device physically by theft or virtually through malware. When developers fail to use secure encryption to store personally identifiable information (PII) or other sensitive data, attackers can easily hook up the device to a computer with free software that grants them access to anything on the device. Mobile app security best…