Building a functional and secure app should be one of the main concerns a developer has. While building a secure app may sound like a fairly simple and straightforward process, it is anything but.
As the security threats in the web app world get more severe and sophisticated, developers have to find a way to protect their programs and their users for these threats. A recent study found that most apps have a minimum of 20 security vulnerabilities. Finding and fixing these vulnerabilities will be an ongoing process.
The following are some of the things you need to consider when trying to construct a secure app from the ground up.
Getting to Know the Threats You Are Up Against
The first step in building a secure app is educating yourself regarding the various security threats you will face. Failing to have this knowledge will leave you at a great disadvantage when it comes to trying to secure an app. Knowing what sensitive information your app will collect is essential when trying to figure out who may want to steal or access it.
Properly deconstructing your app will provide you with information regarding how it will be used and what external entities it will interact with on a regular basis. Once you have this information, you can assess the severity of each security threat your app will face. Ranking each of the security threats will give you information regarding which ones you need to protect against first.
Properly Protecting Your APIs is Vital
An application programming interface (API) is a mechanism that allows your app to talk to other programs. Over the years, hackers have found a way to manipulate these APIs for nefarious purposes. Instead of leaving your app exposed to this type of hacking, you need to work on properly protecting against this threat.
One of the first things you need to do when attempting to protect your APIs is to remove any outdated function calls that may be deemed as deprecated. You will also need to avoid embedding sensitive information like passwords or API keys into your app’s source code. These elements should be put into a separate configuration file.
Using a system like Windows Exchange to store sensitive information is important. If you are going to use this system for things like emails or app calendars, you will need to find Exchange management tools to help you keep this information secure.
Guarding Against SQL Injections is Crucial During the App Development Process
Among the most common and potentially damaging security threats web applications face is an SQL injection. Not only with this hacking technique knock your app offline, but it can also compromise the information in your app’s database.
When trying to guard against this security threat, you need to work on developing an input validation technique. Creating a set of defined rules for the type of input users are allowed to enter in can keep hackers at bay.
You will also need to work on restricting user and employee access to your app’s database. Allowing any and everyone access to this highly sensitive information will only lead to problems in the long run.
Use Updated Libraries
The more code you add to your app, the higher the risk of mistakes being made will become. When using coding libraries, you need to ensure they are updated. Many developers use open source code to reduce their workload, but fail to check whether this code has been updated and improved.
Putting outdated code in your app will make it much easier for hackers to infiltrate the program. Choosing programming languages that have a large community, like Python, can be helpful when trying to assess how secure the code you are using is.
While developing a secure app may be difficult, it is worth the work you invest. Rushing through this development process will generally lead to crucial mistakes being made, which is why you need to take your time.