Security in Mobile Application Development

Today’s world is marked by the popularity of mobile application development. Development of these applications has widened the scope of Mobile Phones which were earlier used to make only voice calls. The popularity of Smartphones particularly, iPhones, led to the development of new applications like Internet Browsing, E-Mail, and Games etc. With rapid growth and development of Smartphones and PDAs, mobile technology has entered a golden period. The growth and development of wireless industry resulted in an increase in the requirement of advanced applications. The latest technologies used today are Dot Net, C++ and J2EE and many companies are providing secured applications for different platforms like – the iPhone, BREW, Symbian, J2ME etc. Samsung Push Service

Mobile companies also faced with the challenge of meeting the growing expectations for innovative and secured mobile applications. The ever changing mobile technology together with growing expectations of customers put an extra pressure on the developers. To stay ahead of the competitors, many companies are trying to create more innovative and portable applications. This has resulted in a trend of outsourcing the mobile application development to the companies that specialize in developing applications for wireless devices.

The list of applications which can be outsourced are: wireless internet security, video and image sharing, gaming, integrated billing solutions, location based services and content management. Companies are engaged in developing applications using leading-edge technologies and tools for providing consistent quality levels and unfailing levels. Developing secured mobile applications involve a range of innovative and dynamic approaches, which can be possible with the help of latest mobile gadgets. In developing applications for mobile devices, the biggest concern is the security on wireless devices. The security in mobile applications is developed with a target of securing phones from various threats like – viruses, malware, OS exploits etc.

There are two types of mobile security risks. One is the category of malicious functionality which can be defined as a list of unwanted mobile code behaviors. Second is the vulnerabilities which are the errors in design that expose the data to interception by attackers. To solve this issue, the developers have implemented a systematic approach to ensure security in mobile applications. There are many resources available on the internet that features case studies, code examples and best practices, to provide security in the mobile applications. One can find a lot of information on how to protect against vulnerabilities in the latest Smartphone and PDA platforms. Below are some steps that can be followed by the developers, to ensure security in mobile applications –

  • Maximizing isolation by designing authenticated applications.
  • Lockdown internal and external/removable storage.
  • Working with sandboxing and signing and encrypt sensitive user information.
  • Safeguards against viruses, worms, malware and buffer overflow exploits are also involved in the security of wireless devices.
  • Using the Google Android emulator, debugger and third-party security tools for debugging.
  • Configuring the Apple iPhone interfaces to prevent overflow and SQL injection attacks.
  • Employing private and public key cryptography on Windows Mobile devices.
  • Enforcing fine-grained security policies using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Plugging holes in Java Mobile Edition, SymbianOS and WebOS applications.
  • Testing for XSS, CSRF, HTTP redirects and Phishing attacks on WAP/Mobile HTML applications.
  • Identifying and eliminating threats from Bluetooth, SMS and GPS services.