Security has never been more crucial than today in a society where most people live digital lives. People utilize smartphone applications for various tasks, from ordering takeout to transferring money. Even businesses have included customized applications to improve their marketing strategy and customer service.
The users are still at risk from malware and ransomware assaults, though. Over 35% of mobile device conversations are not secured. According to this, a third or more mobile device data transmissions may be at risk.
Ransomware assaults drastically surged after the first quarter of 2017. Furthermore, a dramatic rise in malware in China suggests that over 20 million threats might soon be present on mobile devices. Therefore, to maintain the app’s obscurity, it is crucial to hire Android developer who can do safety checks regularly.
Now that you know about the threat landscape let’s look at the Android security best practices.
Android Security Best Practices
With the alarming frequency & size of loopholes for data security, business firms need to keep their Android apps secure. This article will go through a few android security best practices that can help you bridge the security gaps.
The majority of developers now rely on multi-factor authentication. Through robust session control and a separate system, sensitive information is kept secure. Setting up an advanced authentication system with the aid of resources like JSON web tokens or OAuth 2.0 should be given top priority. Because of this, the Android apps are further secured. Only approved apps and devices that comply with specific requirements are allowed access to company resources thanks to the comprehensive and secure access gateway.
The source code has to be secured when an Android app is being developed. Although we may increase the security of the source code through the obfuscation process and make it difficult for humans, especially hackers, to read the code, Obfuscation can be used to prevent unwanted access, vulnerability discovery, trade secrets, procedures, and getting around licensing or other limitations. Obfuscation is not the same as encryption. Data and information are transformed via encryption primarily to protect them from prying eyes. The purpose of Obfuscation is to make it challenging for humans to grasp. Obfuscation is unnecessary for certain de-obfuscation functions, but encrypted code must be decoded before it can be executed.
Protect Data in-Transit
Your transit data must be secured at all times. With your defensive system, you must be proactive. For example, robust jailbreak detection and status-based access restriction are both required. Furthermore, devices that have been flagged as being non-compliant shouldn’t have access to business data. The complete program holding business data should be destroyed if you misplace or have a device stolen. By doing this, you can be confident that no one will misuse your sensitive data. Users or the IT department can delete any corporate data from a device using selective data removal.
Securing the server
Servers are still open to hacking in modern times. Attacks against the server’s API are frequently attempted. This shows that to avoid assaults, you must maintain the server and API’s security. A firewall and DMZ may both be added to your server. You may create inward, and outbound traffic controls for Linux by using IPTables.
Detection of code tamper
It is advised to incorporate anti-tamper techniques while developing the app. Verifying signatures, using anti-virus software, and keeping activity logs should all be on the security checklist. In addition, as vulnerable or infected libraries are introduced to your application’s source code, this will assist you in keeping an eye on them.
The encryption key should have a minimum bit length of 128 as required by the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). The hash key and the pinning certificate are both used by reputable app developers to increase security. The entire request is returned and represented as a hashed text along with a private key. To validate any update or change to the process, the server compares this string to the request it receives.
Strong Input validation
The process by which a user-supplied input is examined is known as data validation, sometimes known as input validation. Doing this prevents any incorrectly constituted data from entering the information system. Regardless of the platform, the application is running on. Therefore, it would be best if you had strong input validation.
Android App Sandbox
The Android sandbox uses Linux’s user-based protection to segregate programs into their area. Each app is treated as a distinct user. Except in cases when a file has been expressly shared, no App has access to another App’s files. The Linux kernel would be compromised if an app’s isolation were compromised. Google also stated that it would stop updating its kernel with security fixes and instead migrate to the mainline kernel. As a result, future security patches for Android should arrive more quickly.
By using the Firebase API, push notifications may be sent. However, the prospect arises of Firebase abusing this data or of Firebase unintentionally revealing data. Therefore, you may use Firebase notifications as an alert call for the phone to obtain the data for the actual notice instead of disclosing all notification contents to Firebase. Furthermore, we may now retrieve the notification’s content from our secure server. In this manner, even if we employ Firebase’s quick and trustworthy alerts, we have total autonomy regarding information delivery.
Using SSL Pinning
By default, the system verifies HTTPS connections by validating the server certificate and determining if it is valid for this domain. Although this makes it more likely that the server to which the client is connected is trustworthy, more sophisticated man-in-the-middle assaults are still possible. The network certification integrity validation determines if a trustworthy certificate authority’s root certificate was used to sign the certificate. Attackers would need to explicitly trust the rogue certificate in the user’s device settings or, in the worst case, corrupt a certificate authority to get around this security measure.
Suppose a person were to be able to employ one of these techniques. In that case, he could then operate a malicious server or carry out a man-in-the-middle attack to read every communication between a client and a server. Therefore, the server certificates can undergo further trust checking by an app to thwart these attacks. SSL or Certificate Pinning is the name of this method. Your app package can include a list of valid certificates (or their public keys or hashes) to implement this capability. Therefore, the app may determine whether the server’s certificate is on this list before communicating.
Some techniques make your Android apps more resistant to attackers, even though developing an Android app is challenging. A significant priority that should never be neglected is protecting user data. Your app will operate on hundreds of mobile devices, many of which will run Android, each with a unique hardware configuration, firmware, Android version, and software environment. This is especially true for Android. Consequently, there is sufficient room for one link in the chain to fail and reveal security gaps. You need to hire dedicated developers to prepare for these operating system security issues. If the operating system does not encrypt essential data, provide a second line of defence. Ensure the connection is secure, obscure your code, and remove any suspicious third-party libraries.
Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client’s success is company’s success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client’s business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.
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Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.