A well-architected mobile security strategy can provide companies a strategic advantage. Users prioritize the security of their data, even if they are not actively aware of the potential risks or concerns. When a data breach occurs, it greatly affects a company’s reputation and the confidence that consumers have in that business. Investments and stock can also suffer as a result. However, an effective mobile security strategy can help build confidence and trust in your business. Let’s examine some common security challenges and best practices for mobile security.
What is a Mobile Security Strategy?
A mobile security strategy is your business plan to ensure the security of company data, devices and mobile applications. Your data security strategy will commonly include secure data storage options and comprehensive testing for security vulnerabilities and malware.
|Tech Fact: Penetration testing (pen testing) and vulnerability assessments are proactive strategies to test the security of business systems. Rather than waiting for a cyber attack to occur, a business will attempt to break into their own systems or hire an expert who can mimic an attack as they attempt to access sensitive data. This is also referred to as “ethical hacking.”|
Security Challenges Facing Mobile Platforms
In order to craft an effective mobile security strategy, you must be aware of the most common mobile security challenges. Here is a list of top mobile security concerns facing business leaders and developers alike.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Now that businesses are operating remotely, mobile security has become an even greater challenge and priority. Some businesses provide employees with company-owned phones and computers, while others have established guidelines for using personal devices for work-related tasks. If employees are not careful, personal devices can leave company data vulnerable to data breaches. This is why it is critical to have an established data security plan and mobile security strategy.
Certain device features, such as Bluetooth capabilities, are known to be particularly susceptible to data breaches and intercepted connections. If companies make use of Bluetooth mobile device features, it’s advisable to find alternatives to these potential vulnerabilities. As an alternative to sharing data and files over a Bluetooth connection, consider hosting your business data in the cloud. A common cloud-based data repository is an efficient, scalable and cost-effective data storage option.
Public WiFi Networks
In general, business users should not log onto a public WiFi network or hotspot where their devices are discoverable by other devices. Unsecure connections leave devices vulnerable to spam ads and other potential security concerns.
App integrations, software integrations and data integrations offer many benefits for businesses. They often help businesses increase efficiency, utilize their resources more effectively and enable powerful data analytics. However, integrations shouldn’t be a cause for potential data vulnerabilities. Businesses should ensure data is not lost or left vulnerable during the transfer process. Data should be encrypted during transfer and at rest to safeguard against hackers that are looking to exploit exposed data.
Types of Mobile Security Measures / Mobile Security Best Practices
After establishing some common mobile security challenges, here are some mobile security best practices to consider for your business.
Related to data security, protecting the privacy of your users’ data is an important part of mobile app development. Ensuring that the correct permissions are in place should limit the amount of device data that your app or software accesses. Data that is generated or collected by your app or software should be stored securely, ideally, in the cloud.
Biometric security / authentication
Biometric authentication and security are unique solutions to device security. Many appreciate the convenience and personalization that this security measure offers. However, developers must make sure that biometric data is properly encrypted. Once compromised, biometric data cannot be changed.
For businesses looking to add additional security to their mobile apps or custom software platforms, multi-factor authentication is a great way to validate the identity of your users during the login process. Examples of two-factor authentication include the use of a password and a verification code that is texted or emailed to the user. As a best practice, passwords should not be shared and should be changed periodically.
Mobile app updates
An effective mobile security strategy will prioritize active security measures and updates that may include security patches. Your business should ensure that all software, apps and operating systems are kept up to date to ensure that no vulnerabilities are left unaddressed.
It is a good practice to install antivirus software on company devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. This will help you to avoid a scenario where a user gets infected by a virus that could cause problems with the device and the networks that it’s connected to. Operating systems tend to have a number of built-in security protections, so evaluate your resources and determine whether your company could benefit from additional security and antivirus protections.
If your enterprise mobile app offers communication capabilities, it is necessary to secure your communication channels. Your company’s communication platform should be connected to its own server, where outsiders cannot access it. Some industries involve the communication of highly confidential information. For these apps, built-in end-to-end encryption, geofencing, ephemeral messaging and remote wipe may all be part of an effective mobile security plan.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Some companies require that employees log in through a VPN or virtual private network. Logging onto a company network helps mitigate the security risks of unprotected WiFi connections. One of the biggest benefits of a VPN is that remote employees are still protected by the security of the corporate network. Though each is unique, VPNs, firewalls and antivirus software work hand-in-hand to protect your devices and data.
To protect against hackers, some businesses will employ the practice of code obfuscation. This is the process by which the appearance of source code is altered so that it is difficult to understand and reverse engineer, while still functioning in a normal manner.
Regardless of your approach to data security, it is better to be proactive rather than reactive. Security should be a key consideration as you plan the development of a mobile platform or any other custom software application. Thorough testing also helps to ensure that security vulnerabilities are identified, allowing for prompt remediation.
Develop an Effective Mobile Security Strategy
If you would like assistance in crafting a solid mobile security strategy, the team at 7T is here to help. We prioritize security in the development of our clients’ mobile apps and custom software platforms. Our custom messaging platform is designed with 256-bit encryption, offering businesses a secure method of communication for their employees.
We also offer cloud services, including cloud integrations, and are a certified Snowflake Services Partner. Cloud solutions provide businesses with a secure, centralized data storage platform to store and protect their data. To discuss your development or cloud solutions project, fill out the form below or reach out to the team at 7T today.