Mobile apps developed by companies are meant as a means of communicating with clients, allowing them to connect with your business, be informed of your latest news and developments, and even shop directly from their smartphone. In order to provide each user with a personalized experience, these apps collect and store personal data. Some data is more sensitive than other, however your company should treat all of it as highly confidential.
A customer will feel betrayed if any of their personal data is transmitted to any third party, either in a voluntary manner, or as a result of malicious infiltration in your data storage center. Thus, ensuring that your mobile app is secure and that the backend where customer data is stored can guarantee the safeguard of the information stored in it, are two highly critical aspects to consider.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals are just as skilled and determined as the top level technicians employed by corporations to create and maintain IT and mobile security systems. Despite your best efforts, an infiltration may occur and your mobile app users’ data may be leaked. To mitigate this serious risk, companies take certain safety measures such as:
1. How Much Data the Mobile App Collects
Companies ideally want to know everything about their customers: where they live and work, how much time they spend browsing the internet and when, and when they are about to run out of the products sold by the respective company so that they are prime targets for advertising. This is why various data collection techniques came into being, starting with the simple newsletter subscription and ending with the wide range of personal data collected by mobile apps.
However, to paraphrase a well-known line, with great data collection comes great responsibility. Your company needs to assess if it is prepared to guarantee the safety and confidentiality of this huge quantity of personal data, which includes wireless network details, contact lists, photo galleries and other data stored in a smartphone which can identify and pinpoint a user wherever they are located.
2. Assess the Security of Your Mobile App at All Layers
One of the highly specialized and developed IT security management and advisory companies in the US has assessed that by 2017, 75% of mobile data leaks by hacking will be due to erroneous configurations of mobile apps. What does this mean? For companies, it means that they must assess the security of the entire cycle of communication between the customer and your business through the mobile app.
This communication is not just between the customer’s smartphone and the app itself, but also between the smartphone and the server where the customer’s data are stored. Each time a user logs in to your company’s mobile app, their identification data are accessed on a server which is not under the full control of the company. Hiring third-party data storage solutions such as cloud storage or dedicated servers, is one of the most frequent solutions used by companies worldwide. When you select a data storage provider, you need to perform a detailed due diligence on their ability to guarantee the highest level of security for data stored on their servers or cloud drives.
3. Test the Strength of Data Input
It is very convenient to allow a mobile app user to stay logged in after they quit a session of using your company app. It is also convenient to allow them to confirm their login data with a simple tap on the smartphone screen. Both these options make mobile apps user-friendly and popular. They also leave confidential data exposed to hacking.
Mobile app hackers have devised complex ways to infiltrate both smartphones and servers which store confidential data and are accessed by mobile apps. This is why, even though it seems like an unpopular decision, your company needs to step-up the user authenticating process, by adding an extra validation layer and disabling the option to keep a user logged in the app from session to session.
Ensuring data confidentiality and protection is one of those promises that your company cannot afford to break. And with advances in technology, risks increase at the same fast pace as our access to resources and our interconnection through mobile and web apps. This is why your company needs to implement the strictest IT and data security solutions available, and update them each time it is necessary.