7 Steps to Write the Ultimate App Security Strategy
You’re developing an app that you believe will be a major success. You have a great idea and you know your target audience is going to love it. Plus, you have a team of brilliant developers working on including all the features and options you originally came up with. But, did you think about app security?
Because, if your app isn’t safe to use, all your other efforts will be in vain.
This means that app security should be a top priority for you during the phase of app development. It is supposed to ensure that the users’ data is protected and no hackers can steal and misuse it. So, if you want to create the ultimate app security strategy for all your future apps, but aren’t sure how- just keep reading. Below, you’ll find 7 ultimate steps you should follow to create a killer app security strategy.
Let’s take it to step by step.
1. Train Your Team
When you look at the process of developing an app, and all the people involved in it, it’s clear that you’re not in this alone. And, if you’re the only one concerned about app security it can’t be a success.
This is why you need to start building your app security by training your team to make it a priority. You can do it any way you like:
- make it a part of your company policy
- hold team meetings explaining the importance of security
- send team members to seminars, webinars, and workshops
Constantly reinforce the idea of the importance of app security and make sure it becomes a strong part of the team or even company culture.
2. Impose Strong Authentication
Weak passwords and easy to crack authentication is a major issue that most users don’t seem to care about. But, it leads to data breaches and makes it easy for hackers to do their job.
That’s why you need to impose strong authentication levels for your app users:
- the password has to be alphanumeric
- it has to have at least one sign
- it has to have at least one capital letter
- there are security questions that need to be answered
And, if your app deals with super-important data, you can even include biometric passwords such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, or retinal scanning.
3. Collect Minimal Data
Data collection is one of the possibly vulnerable spots of your app. If the app is collecting users’ data to be able to work properly, then this data is potentially endangered.
This is why you have to restrict data collection. Here’s what that means:
- only collect the data you need for the app to work
- do not ask for any additional information
The less you know, the less responsibility for users’ data you have.
So, if your app is for an e-commerce business, don’t ask your users for their contacts list or access to their gallery.
4. Utilize Data Encryption
It should go without saying that data encryption is one of the best ways to protect your data. When it comes to app security, it’s an absolute must.
Data encryption is the process in which your code is turned into a bunch of letters and impossible to read signs. And, only the parties who have the key can access and understand this code.
This means that the hackers might find a way to get to your code, but they still won’t be able to read it.
Therefore, make sure to encrypt all data to not jeopardize data security.
5. Employ Secure Code Practices
The app code is another major security issue that you need to take care of unless you want hackers to reach your users’ data. It’s a potentially vulnerable spot that you have to make stronger and harder to access.
Therefore, you should write a more secure code. The best way to do it is to employ all the secure code writing practices you know of.
- Code signing
- Code minification
- Code hardening
The more secure your code is, the harder it will be for the hackers to attack it and get to it. It’s a significant addition to your app security strategy.
6. Test App Security
It can often happen that you think you have it all figured out. Your team seems to have done a great job. And it all looks great on paper.
But, you can never be sure about the success of your app security strategy unless you test it.
Testing your app security implies:
- performing a series of attacks to try and steal the data
- looking into any possible loophole or entrance to the app’s data storage
- finding any way possible to jeopardize app security
Once you perform the necessary tests, you can say with certainty that the app is safe to use. But, don’t forget to retest as time goes by since there will be new types of attacks in the future.
Keep testing, and keep updating your app security strategy. This way, you’ll make sure you’re always one step ahead of potential problems and security breaches.
7. Limit Access
Finally, make sure that no team member has full access to all the data and app information you’re storing. Instead, give everyone access only to the information they need to do their job.
This way, you’re protecting app data in the case that:
- hackers use one team member’s credentials
- someone loses their laptop
- someone neglects the security protocols
This means that a UX designer has nothing to do with the information necessary for the marketing team to have, or vice versa. They should only have access to the information and data they truly need to do their jobs and tasks properly.
Teach them how to use the cybersecurity tools but don’t trust them with full access to your users’ information. This will be the final but significant addition to your app security strategy.
Your app security is an extremely important segment of your overall app development strategy. Creating a safe app means creating an app your users will love using. It will also show you are professional and trustworthy.
Use the steps provided above to build a strong app security strategy and apply it to all your future app development projects.
Dorian Martin is a freelance writing expert interested in digital marketing and copywriting for businesses. An educational writer by training, he is helping blogs with content strategies. Thanks to the experience in SEO, Dorian often works on content planning and auditing projects.