During the application development process, creators must ensure that security measures are built into the structure of the software. Without a heavy focus on such safeguards, programs could be released with critical errors that put users' personal information at risk, or leave endpoints open to infection through vulnerable weaknesses. These instances occur all too often, and developers must work to prevent these events from happening by using best practices to bolster software security, including the following:
Ensure the program does not store more information than it needs to
One of the first steps to take for ensuring the security of a software application is to put limitations as to the amount of user information being stored, noted InfoWorld contributor Peter Wayner. As a general rule of thumb, if the company supporting the app doesn't plan to make use of certain user data, the program need not store it.
"That information takes time to process, takes up disc space, and makes an attractive target for information thieves," Wayner wrote.
Above and beyond passwords: Implement several security layers
A significant security issue to address during app development is individuals' use of passwords. Often times, users will select a password that contains easily guessable personal information, or, worse still, a widely utilized code like "password" or "123456." To avoid leaving a weak point open for exploitation, program creators should implement security layers beyond the traditional username and password, including two-factor authentication. This login measure can considerably reduce instances of unauthorized access.
Consider HTML5 instead of native coding
Another important step in the program creation process is to consider the security implications of the coding language being utilized. DZone contributor Moran Shayovitch noted that due to its containerizing and integration capabilities, HTML5 can be a more secure language than native coding, especially when implemented in conjunction with secure browsers.
"HTML5 application security can be extended with the use of secure browsers that restrict access to enterprise-approved URLs, preventing cross-site scripting, and integrate with company VPNs," Shayovitch wrote.