How to write a comprehensive App security strategy

Over the past few years, you may have noticed a significant increase in data breaches worldwide. Only in the U.S., over 300 million records were exposed because of hacker attacks:

Image credit: Statista

From the graph above, you can see that there has been a significant drop in security breaches at the beginning of 2020. Nevertheless, a lot of data was still leaked, and a significant portion of it comes from hacker attacks on apps.

One of the most blatant app data breaches this year happened to Truecaller, caller ID, and spam blocking app. Although the company initially denied that this breach happened, the personal data of 47.5 million Indians ended up on the dark web, where it was sold for $1,000.

Applications collect and store a lot of personal data, including payment details. And the increasing number of attacks on apps shows us that it is an absolute must to secure your application as effectively as possible.

So, today we’ll take a look at some tips on how to write a comprehensive security strategy that will lay the foundation for your app’s overall safety.

1. Outline Cybersecurity Technology Solutions

First and foremost, an effective app security strategy should contain information on technical controls that will secure the app’s entire infrastructure.

Technical controls involve validity checks, such as identification, authentication, authorization, etc. Outlining which technical controls your app will use is important for risk management and cybersecurity in general.

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Here are the top 3 technical controls that are a must for a comprehensive app security strategy:

  • Security of internet communications. In this section, describe the encryption methods that your app should use to protect every app use session. This technical control usually involves public-key cryptography, digital signatures, and other authentication methods.
  • Security of the communication channels. Each channel of communication needs an extra layer of protection. One of the most common solutions is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) of TCP/IP, which provides additional data protection.
  • IDS (Intrusion Detection System). This technical control is necessary to detect security breaches, as it acts like anti-virus software. IDS will be your first layer of cybersecurity control, so it’s an absolute must to include in your app security strategy.

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Apart from these technical controls, you also need to outline how the app should react in case there are unsuccessful or suspicious logins. For example, in case someone tries to log into an account without the user knowing, the app will block this attempt and notify the user about the possible breach. This will add an extra layer of protection to the app and makes the user’s private data more secure.

2. Include Tools for App Security Testing

Even though you have taken all possible measures to protect your app, you still need to test its security on a regular basis. Sometimes the best cybersecurity solutions still aren’t effective against massive data breaches and regular testing can prevent that.

To fix the cybersecurity testing process on paper, you need to include the outline of it into your app security strategy with the names of all the tools you need to use during testing. Some of the most effective tools for app security testing are:

  • Android Debug Bridge: In case you have an Android-based application, this solution is a must in your security check toolkit. The benefit of this tool is that it allows you to test your app’s protection level on a real device or on an emulator.
  • Immuniweb: This is one of many free security testing tools for both Android and iOS applications. With it, you can run a static application security testing, as well as do an in-depth software composition analysis.

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The more diverse list of security testing solutions you make, the better, especially if you own an e-commerce app, and it involves a lot of private data exchange. But you also need to make sure that your app security strategy includes a detailed schedule, when each test should be run, and how those responsible for these tests should report the results.

3. Define Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures

A comprehensive app security strategy should encompass not only technical details but should also focus on corporate security regulations.

This doesn’t mean that app analytics and technological solutions aren’t important, but they cannot be implemented effectively if your company doesn’t follow proper cybersecurity policies and procedures.

That being said, your app security strategy should include the two main components of a cybersecurity policy – a customer privacy policy and risk management.

The first one should focus on telling the customers how their personal information is protected. Your customer privacy policy should be public and should include the details on:

  • how your company understands customer privacy
  • how customer information is collected and stored
  • how your app gets access to customer data (for example, using a cloud or a secure private server)

As for risk management, your app security strategy should contain detailed information about:

  • the definition and examples of risks
  • ways of evaluating risks
  • risk mitigation strategies

For a more comprehensive app security strategy, make sure this part also includes information about state regulations and laws that you use as the foundation to ensure cybersecurity and the protection of personal data.

Wrapping Up

You can’t underestimate the importance of a good cybersecurity strategy for your app, especially now, when more people started shopping online and through mobile applications.

It is very important to have a comprehensive app security strategy from the beginning. In this case, you won’t have to deal with the unpleasant surprise of a data breach one day. You don’t want your customers’ private data to end up on the black market.

Hopefully, our tips will help you write a comprehensive app security strategy that will make your app safer and more secure.

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Dorian Martin

Dorian Martin is a professional writer and editor. He started his writing career at a university, helping fellow students learn how to write discussion in dissertation. Now, he mostly writes articles about business technology and runs his own blog about agile business transformation.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. matthewsmt

    It is very important to protect your application from vulnerabilities, as there is always the possibility of being hacked.

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