App Security and the Struggle to Protect Consumer Data

When you create an application for your business, it’s really important to consider the security implications just as much you will the aesthetics. Building an application is one of the best ways to create a great customer experience as applications are really easy to access, use and make purchases or enquiries.

Designing a great looking application, with high-level user experience is important, but this means nothing if app security isn’t there and you can’t protect the information of those who are there.

App security should be your number one priority, as there are many opportunities for your customer’s important data. This includes payment details, addresses and phone numbers, which can be left vulnerable for hackers to use at their disposal. If you’re working with app developers, then be sure to discuss the security measures that are being taken to protect your customers.

What are the risks for your customers?

Typically, when users make in-app purchases they have to input personal information such as their addresses, payment details and phone number. If this information gets into the wrong hands, hackers with malicious intent can use your information to access bank accounts, to take out loans in your name and so on.

If your application stores user information in their own accounts, then this can be a really tricky situation if there is a security breach in your application. There are multiple sophisticated methods that hackers use to access personal information. One of the most common is a method called reverse engineering a spoof application that contains malware.

Hackers achieve this by changing the original application code, which means that the hackers will also be able to access your business assets and the intellectual property too. It’s crucial to secure your application not only for the security of your customers’ data but also for your own business information, which can be really detrimental if somebody had access to it.

User data protection industry failures

Data breaches can happen to any business, which isn’t reserved for small to medium enterprises. Large corporations are just as at risk as any other business. Even the global giant Facebook has fallen victim to hackers in the past.

In April 2019, many Facebook users fell victim to hackers who accessed their information via an insecure server. Facebook has two applications, the Facebook app and the Facebook messenger application, which were both stored on a server that had no security. Because of this, thousands of user information could be accessed and used for mal intent. When browsing an application, it’s important to practice technical due diligence.

How to secure your app

Securing your application is extremely important and whether you’re a mobile app developer or an Alexa developer, it’s great to familiarise yourself with how to secure an application. Here are some tips on how to create a more secure application:

  • If your application doesn’t have sufficient data security, then a great option could be to scramble data. Hackers will not be able to decipher what the data means so this is a great option even as an additional security layer.

  • Multi-factor authentication is a great option for applications, as this adds an additional layer of security for your users. This is especially great for phones that use biometrics.

  • Software testing is key. It’s important to frequently test your application software to ensure that it’s safe to use.