First mobile phones and now phone applications have become an integral part of our daily lives. The use of these applications is inevitable and has become a core life need. Unknowingly, daily an average person uses 8-10 mobile applications on his smartphone. But the major concern is are these mobile apps secure? Android applications development has to be aligned with certain security constraints to be uploaded on the app store. Other than that these applications pose any vulnerability to the integrity of users’ data then sooner or later they will not be using it.
Owing to the rising security concerns, Android application developers are more concerned about developing secured and promising applications. Though these are the major challenges faced by developers still this is the need for time. So the question is “how to develop a secure android mobile app”. This article will run you through all the needed measures and practices for developing a secured android application.
SECURED COMMUNICATION WITH INTERLINKED APPLICATIONS
One app needs to communicate with other available applications. For example, to send a document from one app to another requires an interlink. Therefore, while developing any android based application developers must be keenly concerned to make this communication between two apps extremely secure and safe. There is no doubt we need them all and those all small to giant apps are interlinked in one or another way. The more secured communication between two or more apps means more privacy and data reliability. After developing an application security testing and quality assurance are crucial steps here the communication liaisons should also be checked meticulously.
IDENTIFY IF NETWORK IS SECURED OR UNSECURED
Like an application has to be interlinked and communicate with other applications, likewise, an application has to be interlinked with many website-based applications networks. While building an app it is crucial to make sure your application is capable enough to identify the networks that are secured (HTTPS) or not (HTTP). When an app connects with unsecured networks the entire device is at risk. HTTPS is everything!
These unsecured networks release Spywares that do eavesdropping and data breaching from devices and leave extremely damaging viruses that shut down the operating systems. By adding network security developers can declare their network security in a configuration file. Other than that you can set up a trust manager in case a custom CA is not trusted by the mobile device and you cannot use security file configuration. Setting a custom trust manager will handle all SSL warnings on your application’s way. Network security identification should be enabled inside the application. An application does not permit any unsourced objects on a web page.
ASK AND PROVIDE THE RIGHT AUTHORIZATIONS
Any application demanding the extra permissions to work properly is not an optimum secured app. Any application must not ask for permission to use any other app functions. Instead of this, the intent should defer to the concerned app that might have already been permitted to operate. Asking for the right permissions and authorizations just once or twice makes an app trustworthy and reliable. You must integrate the authorizations at their minimum pace to run an app appropriately.
PROVIDE THE SECURITY TO DATA STORED
Encoding and encryption also known as cryptography are well-known and proven ways to make data secure and safe. While developing any mobile application no matter for what purposes, data storage security should be top of the list. A needed encryption mechanism has to be introduced inside the app so that any retrieved or stored data retains its integrity. While storing any data prefer to use internal storage capacities and be very cautious while using the external storage. While using cache files only the no secured data or unnecessary files should be kept in there. Keep caution while saving passwords and other login credentials in any file and specifically do not share or save passwords in shared preferences.
REGULARLY UPDATE THE LIBRARIES AND DEPENDENCIES
Updating and improvements are part of app development. Regularly update the libraries and dependencies to see if points of communication are sufficiently secured. Code shrinking is a technique by which you can safely remove all the unused classes, libraries, fields, and dependencies. Resource shrinking is a way of removing all the unused resources in the application safely.
USE THE BEST CRYPTOGRAPHY PRACTICES WHILE DEVELOPING ANY MOBILE APPLICATION
It’s not just about data safety but also data validity. Input validation is a secured way of encrypting data access and data usage. Cryptographically storing data practices are the best way to store and make any data safe. Data can be in any form, passwords, texts, pictures, and even codes. Encryption practices can be applied to multiple layers of privacy.
MAKE SECURITY A PART OF THE REQUIREMENT
While gathering requirements for application development make the security clause an extra. Security measures should start from the requirements gathering phase whether you are developing an app or software. Information technology deserves to be safe, sound, and promising in terms of its integrity and validity. This makes users depend on and use the app with more confidence. When requirements have a clause for security measures and practices, quality assurance will automatically emphasize testing on security ends.
DEPEND AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ON NATIVE OPERATING SYSTEM
Depending upon native operating systems allows any application to be developed under improved, fester loading, secure and enhanced capabilities. These all things must be communicated while addressing the requirements to the development team. If your app uses the integration with other social media applications then you need to be more cautious about permissions, data storage, and security. Make your applications capable enough that it operates under an unsafe environment as efficiently as it operates normally but with secured extra layers through app shielding technology. Security testing must be integrated on every end from start to end. This is all possible by just depending upon native operating systems while developing.