The use of mobile devices continues to increase, with there being no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. The use of mobile apps is also increasing and is completely dominating mobile internet usage, so it’s no surprise that enterprises are investing in mobile apps in order to boost the impact of their product or service.
The most dominant channel through which to download consumer apps is through stores such as Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Play Store, as well as some third-party marketplaces. A large corporate organisation will need to ensure that all information placed within their mobile app is secure. Whether the app is for internal employee use alone, or will be shared with customers, security must be the top priority.
Online banking is extremely common within mobile devices and many of the concerns around the concept, particularly from when it was first developed, revolve around security. Why would anyone put their financial trust in a smartphone? People lose smartphones daily, how can their information remain completely secure? What kind of security measures should be taken when developing the mobile app?
Here are my top four recommendations for organisations to consider when developing a secure mobile app:
1) Password protection
When creating a mobile app always ensure the strictest guidelines when it comes to password access. This should be the case whether your app is being used for employee or customer use and the app has a function allowing users to input and store personal information. Online banking apps usually have short, number based passwords in order to prevent any hackers accessing the mobile device. The more passwords that are incorporated throughout the application, the less risk there is of being hacked.
2) Fingerprint recognition
Since the release of the iPhone 5s, fingerprint recognition has taken off and is being used within a variety of high-security apps. Barclays’ has recently developed its mobile banking app to function with fingerprint recognition protection to allow users to access their financial information. Users are simply asked whether they would like to trust the fingerprint technology when they sign-in to the app, if they switch it on then this is the only security step used before access is granted.
Fingerprint recognition is one of the highest forms of security. If a mobile is misplaced, then all information will be protected through your fingerprint and therefore no information will be lost or accessed by another individual.
3) Voice recognition
Nowadays voice recognition is being used more and more, and trends suggest that this is a form of security that will become widely used across mobile applications in the near future. Amazon has created the Echo which responds via the sound of the user’s voice and Apple’s Siri responds to ‘Hey Siri’.
Customers and employees alike can be assured that any financial or personal information stored within an organisations mobile app will remain protected unless the user commands the app to open. Although this is not currently the most popular means to securing applications, research suggests that voice recognition can only go from strength to strength in terms of enhancing security for mobile apps.
4) Software updates
When budgeting for the development of mobile apps, organisations should always prepare for continuous software updates that are vital to its success. As technology develops, it is important for organisations to keep up-to-date with changes, in order to ensure that their mobile app is always one step ahead of hackers.
Out of date software within a mobile app could leave an organisation at risk of third-party users breaking into the mobile app and accessing sensitive customer or employee information. Therefore, it is imperative to plan for software updates in order for applications to remain as secure as possible and reduce any surprise costs.
Paul Swaddle, Chairman, Pocket App
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