App security must remain a priority for developers

Application security is still suffering due to the emergence of sophisticated malware and hacking techniques that can potentially lead to breaches and loss of essential information. With these attacks becoming more prevalent in the mobile market, it will be important for developers to build in some type of protection into their enterprise software. Any program used for business will need extra safety measures to ensure that the organization remains compliant with industry standards and provides the security necessary to deter any crippling consequences. This will help retain user trust and guarantee that corporate assets are covered.

Glaring holes in app protection
Many high-profile applications have been suspected of potential security breaches, with Snapchat being the most recent victim. However, despite this, an app with no protection still received substantial backing. According to ZDNet contributor Violet Blue, "Yo," a free Android and iOS app that recently topped the app store lists, gained an investment totaling $1.2 million even though it was able to be hacked. Any experienced attacker could potentially grab people's phone numbers and usernames, creating the potential to launch a massive attack. In addition, the software has authority issues, allowing people to login as anyone just by leaving the password field blank.

With the amount of mobile users growing on a daily basis, the consequences for this type of program are enormous. The 500,000 users of the app expected some type of testing and security in their product, but they could not have foreseen the fact that Yo could lead to the exposure of personal information.

"Some might argue that dumb users get what they deserve; that the 500K people who signed up for Yo are equally as stupid as - well, anyone who had a hand in delivering this data theft honeypot to the public," Blue wrote. "But that wouldn't be correct. You can't accuse people of stupidity when they've been deceived."

Leveraging language for better control
In most instances, app security must start with the developer, who should build in safeguards for their program. This begins by choosing an appropriate coding language to create the best tools and protection available. DarkReading contributor Garret Grajek noted that HTML5 can facilitate this by providing a cross-device platform that easily delivers any resources to all devices, enabling them to better defend against emerging threats. To successfully do this, programmers will need to leverage two-factor authentication and HTML5 development tools to improve access control.

With an onboarding system built into the software, organizations can guarantee that only authorized personnel are accessing business resources, effectively deterring malicious parties from viewing sensitive information. In addition, management should be able to control user capabilities and seamlessly provision any updates. HTML5's cross-platform capabilities are the best for this situation as any patches can be deployed quickly, preventing debilitating issues from cropping up.

While many developers may feel more comfortable using native coding, fixes will not be able to be addressed as quickly as they would with HTML5. In a native approach, the app builder must rework the programming for each version of the software, ensuring that device needs are met, taking up a significant amount of time. This could be too late to defend against damaging security problems and may even end up costing more in the long run.

"When done correctly, HTML5 frees the enterprise from mobile device management," Grajek wrote. "Resources can be deployed to all devices in a manner that allows complete abstraction of the device to the app. The good news is that it places the focus on the apps, not the devices, an area that enterprises can manage more effectively."


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