Most business leaders understand by now that mobile apps are a superb complement to their business. They have proven themselves an effective means of driving customer engagement, and with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets now outnumbering traditional desktop setups, there has never been a better time to launch a mobile application. With a huge range of mobile devices adopting the Android operating system it often makes sense to prioritise this platform for app development.
Work with the best mobile app development company in the UK
However, anyone looking to develop a mobile app must consider security. Its importance goes far beyond statutory compliance: by optimising security you build valuable trust with your customers. Mobile apps are often allowed to store valuable personal data and the cost of getting hacked or otherwise losing that information is disastrous in both financial and reputational terms. One way to ensure the best security protocols built into your app is to work with the best mobile app development company in the UK. You require professional expertise to implement cutting-edge techniques to secure an Android app. Here are five of the best practices.
- Remember the basics
Each version of Android currently available has different strengths and weaknesses in its security protocols. Even if you can create an app that will be totally secure on the latest version of Android, many of your prospective users will still be using previous incarnations. So, making sure your security measures hold up in all of them is vital.
- Save data securely
There are a number of approaches for securing sensitive data. Be sure that any app-specific data is saved to the mobile device itself, as this is easier to safeguard. If your app uses external storage, make sure your encryption is robust enough to prevent other applications – or hackers, from accessing it. Fortunately, there are now some excellent tools for keeping Android data secure. A good choice is Android App Sandbox. Sandbox allows you to isolate app data, keeping it entirely inaccessible to other apps.
- Choose HTTPS
Another factor to consider is data transportation. Without an encrypted connection, there is a considerable danger of data interception – especially when using a roving smartphone. This means it is down to the developer to make sure that all data traffic is effectively encrypted, and using HTTPS is still a highly effective choice. This means that your data will be protected by TLS (Transport Layer Security) as it moves across networks.
- Secure your code
Protecting source code is vital to maintain its security as well as copyright. Reverse code engineering is a serious threat, so it is vital to make it difficult for hackers to penetrate it. Code obfuscation is a useful way of keeping hackers at bay. Static Code Analysis and Static Application Security Testing should be seen as key steps on your app development journey. Static Code Analysis (offered by Android Studio) helps you to identify flaws and weaknesses, including potential security issues, so that you can address them all before you deploy.
- Consider analytics
As already mentioned, your app users are becoming increasingly aware of the value and sensitivity of personal data. Data is a very valuable commodity and it is, therefore, important to consider how you will analyse it. Third-party analytics can be problematic, as some frameworks readily allow personal identification of your application’s users and give access to their personal data. Whilst many Android app developers use Google Analytics, you should be aware that this gives Google access to every piece of information you collect. A better strategy is to work with the best mobile app development company in the UK to create your own bespoke analytic solutions.
There is plenty here to keep in mind, but prioritising the security of Android apps will pay dividends in the future. Giving your users a wonderful, secure experience is what sets up your enterprise for a growing customer base and long-term success. By taking time to plan for security, and following best practices, you can succeed in creating a secure Android app that will be a great reflection on your brand.