The security of mobile apps plays an integral role in the digital space and the business world today. With an increasing number of threats and cyberattacks, businesses are now more concerned than ever about the safety of their apps and protecting the sensitive information of their users. At the same time, more and more businesses are innovating their business strategies and launching new mobile apps for their users.
Given all this, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your app is safe and secure. Here are five application security standards that you should take into consideration to protect your app against these growing threats.
The importance of application security
76% of applications have at least one vulnerability that cybercriminals can leverage.
Application security is important because today’s applications are exposed to a myriad of security threats and risks. They not only damage individual businesses, but also can lead to massive losses of sensitive data through intellectual property theft. In addition, attacks can permanently damage customer loyalty and impact an entire company’s brand image.
Research studies have found that over 76% of applications have at least one vulnerability that cybercriminals can leverage. Keeping this in mind, try to perceive the level of security risks that mobile applications can pose to users, knowing that there are over 6.3 billion smartphone users across the world and according to experts, on average a single smartphone user uses 9 mobile apps per day and 30 apps per month.
The need to build more secure and robust mobile apps cannot be ignored, especially as the business world becomes more reliant on mobile apps and data stored in it. Mobile app security plays a crucial role in today’s digital economy where malware attacks and user data breaches have become commonplace.
Whether you’re building an app from scratch or simply planning to update your existing one, it’s important to know the application security standards in order to protect your app from the vulnerabilities that can expose critical information of your users such as their social security numbers, health records, and financial details.
Application Security Standards
The increase in digital security risks and cyberattacks is driving companies to invest in mobile security. With an increasing number of users accessing applications on smartphones and tablets, businesses are facing more instances of data theft and fraud. Businesses must implement best application security practices and develop applications that are in line with the latest application security standards to ensure maximum security and protection of users.
To help you get started, Build38 has made a summary of the top 5 app security standards you should follow that Build38 can address in order to ensure maximum app security for your business applications.
1- OWASP Top 10 Mobile Threats
Mobile application security has become an important aspect of digital security risks. It involves making mobile apps safe and secure for their users and preventing cyber-attacks. The OWASP Mobile Top 10 is a list that provides ten guidelines in order to create safer applications. These guidelines can be applied at every stage of development: design, build, test, deploy, maintain and retire. They provide information on how to identify vulnerabilities during different phases and mitigate them before they are exploited by attackers. With so many companies relying on mobile apps for everything from processing payments to managing inventory, it’s vital that you protect your business from malicious attacks by using a comprehensive approach when it comes to cybersecurity threats.
2- OWASP Application Security Verification Standard (ASVS)
The OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) ASVS is a global community with a mission of enabling organizations to develop, purchase, and maintain applications that can be trusted. The standard helps organizations identify weaknesses in application security during development. It is intended for use by anyone who develops, procures, operates, or uses web or mobile applications. It complements existing standards such as ISO/IEC 27002 and NIST SP 800-53. The ASVS lists 14 controls and establishes three verification levels that includes:
- Level 1: low assurance levels, completely penetration testable.
- Level 2: applications containing sensitive data, recommended for most apps.
- Level 3: applications performing high-value transactions, containing sensitive medical data, or requiring the highest level of trust.
3- Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)
The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) project was started in 2000 by MITRE Corporation under sponsorship from the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The initial focus was on Java but has since expanded to include other programming languages such as .NET, PHP, Python, Ruby and others. CWE is a dictionary of publicly known software weaknesses including coding errors, design flaws, security policy violations, and more. There are hundreds of thousands of possible weaknesses that can affect an application and many organizations don’t have a complete understanding of them. These organizations can use CWE to help identify different kinds of potential threats that their applications may be susceptible to.
4- National Information Assurance Partnerships (NIAP)
As a collaborative effort between industry and government, NIAP is one of many organizations that has defined information security standards for software developers. These standards focus on cloud computing, cybersecurity threats, mobile apps, data access control, and more. NIAP is an organisation that promotes collaboration between businesses and agencies to create secure applications for end users. By joining NIAP or following their practices, you’ll create better customer-centric secure applications for your users.
5- Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt)
In recent years, companies have started working on securing their mobile apps. This is in response to growing digital security risks and cybersecurity threats plaguing mobile applications. The Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt) is an effort taken by industry leaders such as Bosch, Infineon Technologies, and Gemalto towards building security into everything – i.e., securing not just devices but their connectivity as well – hence creating a secure ecosystem based on mutual trust and inter-device authentication. Following the ioXt security standard can not only help you bake better security in your applications but can also enable you to secure the devices and digital infrastructure running and supporting those devices and applications.
Build38 recommends these application security best practices
In addition to adhering to the standards of application security, you can also implement application security best practices to ensure your applications are secure and future-proof. Mobile application security is a vital element for both businesses and developers who wish to keep their data protected. While cybersecurity threats are growing in number, there are some general mobile application security best practices that can help secure apps from common cyber threats.
To stay ahead of online criminals, implement these top five best practices for protecting your users and information:
#1 Data encryption: Securely encrypt all user and business data on your devices.
#2 Strong passwords: Create strong passwords with at least eight characters containing numbers, symbols and upper-case letters.
#3 Remote wipe capability: Enable remote wipe capabilities to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data.
#4 Device integrity checks: Implement device integrity checks to ensure only authorized users have access to sensitive information.
#5 Access control list (ACLs): Ensure ACLs are set up correctly to limit access only to those with proper credentials.
Build38 can help you secure your mobile app to avoid threats and attacks
The number of security threats and digital attacks on mobile apps has been on the rise, thereby leading to a greater need to protect sensitive information of users. These attacks include data breaches, identity theft, financial frauds, malicious code injection etc., that can cause major damage to an organization’s reputation and its bottom line.
In today’s hostile digital space, Mobile app security plays a critical role in protecting the sensitive information of users from such attacks. Organizations need to work with security experts like Build38 to ensure that security standards are met and to avoid threats and attacks.
Get in touch with Build38 to learn more about the all the products and services offered for different sectors or visit our case studies section to learn how we’ve helped businesses worldwide to protect their mobile applications.