How to Adjust Your Mobile App Security from Reactive to Proactive

According to TechJury, 300,000 new pieces of malware are created daily, ranging from viruses, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, etc. all with the same goal – to steal people’s data. A proactive approach to your organization’s mobile app security is essential in today’s environment.

Common best practices for mobile application development include “making the application secure,” but much of the focus is the user experience, intuitive navigation, one-handed operation, and other major design principles that make the app desirable. If you google “mobile application development best practices” you will see where the priorities are. Developers are held accountable by the number of user ratings with comments that are overwhelmingly based on the usability and operability of features. The popularity of applications has more to do with psychological and social reward aspects and rarely have “most secure” as a factor for what determines if the app is popular. Developers have a delicate balance between making the app incredible, while also making it secure.

Mobile development tools and toolkits—with defaults—are regularly used for functions and features. Developers do not like wasting time reinventing the wheel when tried and true code samples exist. Whether it is for the “green button” or other templates that can be repurposed, application developers are under stress and timelines to complete projects, so choices are made to simplify the lifecycle. These choices are acceptable, but often create unforeseen security vulnerabilities and potential compatibility issues.

Developers also have a wide range of security toolkits that can be easily added into their project—monitoring tools, operating system-based malware and virus protection, standard defaults in communication protocols like TLS and HTTPS, etc. All of these are part of best practice recommendations and yet they all fall into a common category of security: keep the criminal hacker out. These are a critical part of development, but specific attention needs to be on the actual data and securing it the moment it is created. Criminals want your valuable data and will take the opportunity to steal it wherever they can find a weakness. Creating ways to keep bad guys out is reactive and is the approach most take.

You can’t read news headlines without learning of new breaches and malicious hacks that have compromised mobile applications and exposed personal and sensitive data—even though all the best practices are followed and the various mobile app stores like Apple and Google have approved the applications to be listed. Therefore, developers must be proactive and add Eclypses MTE technology as a foundational part of security design because using it protects data the moment it is created. MTE does not interfere with the user experience and does not make a call out to a cloud or any other third-party service. It is a simple library that is compiled with your code. MTE does not change other security solutions that you are choosing and won’t cause compatibility concerns. It is very likely MTE will reduce the cost of your security by eliminating the need for other security tools in the market. Because the data is already secured before the operating system (OS) sends over established communication protocols, hackers can never steal usable data and therefore some security products are no longer required.

Developers are already proactive by focusing on how businesses operate best and making the most user-friendly application possible—now they can continue to be proactive by using MTE technology. It is simple and takes less time to implement than many other solutions that merely keep criminals out. Even if you already have a completed project, MTE can be added to existing code in less time than it takes to have a meeting to discuss security enhancements! MTE secures the data and eliminates your reputational risk as a company, as a developer, and as an application competing for users’ attention alongside thousands of others.

Don’t settle for constantly reacting to threats. There are easily implemented and reliable security methods that will give your application true end-to-end protection before it is too late.

Written by: David Schoenberger, Eclypses Chief Innovation Officer