10 Best Practices to Follow for Android Application Security


Mobile phones enable us to do almost everything online—from any place and at any time. As mobile activities are soaring, and digital activities are thriving, hackers aren’t long ways behind. In case you’re making an app or already have an app in the market, it’s essential to secure your application, your information, and your user’s information. Here’s why?

How Safe Are Your Mobile Apps?

Ransomware attacks have increased in the first quarter of 2017 by more than a few times than the previous ones. Also, expanded malware generation in China implies that the world will soon confront more than 20 million identifiable dangers to mobile applications.

But, still software developers regularly skip to execute mobile app security best practices amid the app development process and as a result, fail to create applications that secure user and business data. As per a survey, it has been found that there are still many organizations that fail to incorporate security for mobile applications in their budgets.

Healthcare organizations are one of the top targets of hackers looking for valuable patient information. This isn’t surprising, given that an entire medical record can fetch close to $500 in the black market, as reported by NPR. That is the reason today we’ll examine the best practices for enhancing the security posture of android mobile applications.

Android Security Best Practices

Regardless of what type of android application you require to build, consider the following best practices. When settling on security decisions, keep in mind that the android phones can be stolen or that a hacker can easily force the user to run malware on the device.

Protecting Information at Rest on the Device

1. Try not to store unencrypted sensitive information locally, for example, PII, tokens, credentials and cryptographic keys. This incorporates Shared Preferences file framework or SQLite database. Whenever conceivable, maintain a strategic distance from it altogether. Or, utilize a key derivation function, for example, PBKDF2 based on user input.

2. Do not incorporate sensitive information in system logs. Disable debug signing on production builds.

3. Never store sensitive information in the WebView Cache. Along with setting up cache control headers in the server-side, the app should clear its cache after receiving sensitive reactions.

4. Disable app backup. Backups can easily enable a hacker to see or modify the application’s privately stored information without having root access to the device.

Securing Client-side Code

5. Secure the integrity and readability of the binaries against back engineering based attacks. There are various procedures to guarantee this is the case, for example, code obscurity and string or class encryption.

6. Guarantee that the application doesn’t reveal data through Android screenshot for example when the application is backgrounded. Depend on the “FLAG_SECURE” property or “android:excludeFromRecents”.

7. Check whether the devices your application support or run on are rooted. Successful root recognition isn’t an easy procedure and hackers are continually developing new approaches to sidestep it. Also, set up a risk versus reward assurance in advance. At the beginning stage, search into the SafetyNet API discussion.

Securing Data in Transit

8. Each bit of outside communication should occur over a safe channel (for example, HTTPS).

9. Execute certificate pinning to affirm that the certificate displayed by the backend Web service is the one that the application anticipates.

Secure Your Network Connections on the Back End

10. Servers that an application’s APIs are using (your own, or outsider) must have safety measures set up to protect information and prevent unapproved access. APIs and those getting to them should be verified to stop eavesdropping on confidential information going from the user back to the application’s server and database.

11. Containerization is a strategy for making encoded containers for safely storing your information and records.

12. Consult a system security expert to execute penetration testing and vulnerability assessments of your system to guarantee the correct data is protected in the correct ways.

13. Database encryption and encoded links with a VPN, SSL or TLS include additional security.

14. Federation is a next-level safety measure that spreads assets out crosswise over servers so they’re not all in one place, and isolates key assets from clients, regularly with encryption measures.

A Few More Tips to Consider

15. Secure application code with encryption. You need the code to be confidential, and difficult to read. Minification and Obfuscation are normal measures, but they’re insufficient. Try to use modern algorithms combined with API encryption.

16. Test code for vulnerabilities.

17. Secure application code should be portable amongst devices and OS and should be easy to fix and update. You don’t need clients stuck without an update after a rupture, so design code to be as agile as could be possible.

18. Remember things like runtime memory, performance, file size, information and battery use while adding security to an application. You need it to be secure, however not at the cost of performance and client experience.

19. Its ok to depend on an application store’s approval as a confirmation that your application is secure, however, that would be an error. Applications must be tried and tested, app store endorsement processes aren’t 100% faultless because some hazardous local applications have been affirmed before.

20. If your application depends on another person’s API, be careful. You’re depending on their code to be secure. Ensure the APIs your application utilizes just give access to the parts of your application that are important to limit vulnerability.

In this modern world, where mobile application users are increasing daily, hackers are also lurking to steal confidential data and compromise app security. But, with a safe and secure mobile security strategy and an experienced mobile application developer you can stay secure from various threats and bugs.


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