App security has been crucial in the battle against hackers and malware. The recent attack on the American oil company Colonial had one of it’s pipes attacked with ransomware. Had the security been better, the customers who were using the application would have been able to continue getting their supply of oil.
It wasn’t that the pipeline itself was stopped, i.e. the attack wasn’t directed at the pipeline infrastructure. It was simply the software that was running the pipeline that stopped working. This should alert every business to create apps that are watertight from attacks.
Where are the weaknesses?
Applications have a number of weaknesses that run through them across the board. This is because of how they are structured and the kinds of software that are used to create them, leaving behind some openings.
Cross-site scripting (XSS): This is when an attacker tricks a website/app in order to attack visitors to the website itself. One of the most common is called the ‘reflective attack’. If your app has advertisements (which it most likely does), the attacker will target this. They will send a malicious code to the app to run their ad, if the user clicks on it, bingo; they’ve just been sent an email with a virus, malware, ransomware, etc. Building in a cross-site protection feature as a standard is a must for any business producing its own apps.
Perhaps the best way to protect your ecommerce app is to have data encryption implemented into the coding. Whenever a customer is sending or receiving information, their personal data must never be in jeopardy. Use a URL Encode service to create data encryption coding that would trigger the data into being encrypted or funneling into the encryption feature whenever a key demand is made. Customer data is incredibly sensitive, firewalls and protected servers are good things to have but data encryption prevents hackers from having a chance at attacking your data.
To have ultimate confidence in your app, you should commission an app security audit. A security audit is beneficial in a number of ways.
- Your app will be put through industry-standard tests. The latest developments in attack types and protection strategies are used as the benchmarks for testing your app.
- If there are any vulnerable zones, you will be notified quickly. Faux attacks are made against your app to see where the weakest points are.
- You will be given good recommendations for how to protect your app better. Rather than being lost in the dark as to how to improve your app’s security, you will be given a detailed report with options for how to do so.
- Once you know where your weak points are and how to improve them, you will have the experience and knowledge to make better apps in the future.
In the near future, the majority of purchases will be online and on phones. So app security is crucial to building confidence with customers so they continue to trust and use your app on their smartphones.