Business operations are now not only carried out in a cabin or in the office. You could reply to your email sitting in a coffee house, while watching a movie or even when you are vacationing in Bali. This is possible with the advent of mobile apps. But with the convenience of a mobile app also comes the threat of your information getting targeted by hackers. Cybercrime includes costs that include damages due to loss of sensitive data, theft of intellectual property, fraud and interruption in business operations.
Apps Targeted by Hackers
So what kinds of apps are targeted by hackers? Apps that are mostly targeted are the ones that have sensitive information and which can be used against other businesses. The most likely apps to be hacked are the ones that deal with economic transactions – ecommerce applications that are connected to banking software. Hackers assimilate data or disrupt services by disabling security, modifying and unlocking key features and stealing data.
Along with enterprise and ecommerce apps – chatting apps are also vulnerable to hacking. Some of the most sensitive information is shared on chats – for example, the CEO of a company carrying out a huge assignment or carrying cash for transaction giving details of his whereabouts to his family or colleagues. If the hackers know his location and his whereabouts at a particular time, they could easily dupe and steal the information that they require.
So, how do you secure chat apps? Let’s find out.
Ensuring the Security of Messaging Apps
Messaging apps has two broad categories – enterprising messaging apps and consumer based messaging apps. Security risks for these apps include a secured integration with a payment statement, proper usage of a platform and ensuring legal regulations for healthcare or banking.
Now, let’s take a look at a few common ways of ensuring secured messaging apps.
Security of Data Storage and Data Transfer
Logically, the less data stored on the client’s side, the more secure the app. But there are instances where the app user would want to save their data. In that case, there are technical solutions that would keep that data secure. This can be done by use Realm Core. It uses OpenSSL when one supplies a 4-bit encryption key. Realm Core can be transparently encrypted and decrypted with AES-256 and can be verified with SHA-2 HMAC hash.
For iOS two frameworks can be adopted – Realm iOS and CoreData for data protection. CoreData’s most popular local storage type is SQLite – it is an open source third-party library that provides 256-bit AES encryption. It is important to know that AES takes up a little bit of extra storage space, thereby decreasing the speed of the app.
Secure Communication Between the Client and the Server
It is important that all communication done between the client and the server is secure. Apps need to adhere to the standards set by the industry and regulatory requirements depending on the state and the industry.
For instance, a healthcare app needs to adhere to medical industry standards and should be compliant with HIPAA. The healthcare software application following HIPAA standards might have a few limitations that need to be addressed – such as disclosing certain medical information.
As we know all the information shared between a client and the server runs a risk of breach. The app developers need to make sure that they are properly set up with TLS/SSL. The app needs to have a trusted CA certificate with configured chains and attach or pin those to SSL.
Tip: Encrypt the sensitive data before pinning it to SSL to get an extra layer of security.
End-to-End Encryption and Reinforcing Encryption
Encrypting the data would mean that even if it is hacked, the hacker will not be able to read it. Encryption of data is done by using special algorithms to scramble data. All messaging apps have some form of encryption data. One of the biggest reasons why messaging apps make themselves vulnerable to hackers is that they use some information to target users with advertisements.
The most secure apps with chat functionality use end-to-end encryption that lets only the sender and the receiver read a message. If the company does make an app with end-to-end encryption, they can archive the data and store all the messages on the server. These messages can be decrypted and read if necessary.
To increase security, the app developers can reinforce existing encryption mechanisms. What is reinforcing encryption? – It requires applying cryptographic standards by getting acquainted with cyber security guidelines.
To conclude, some typical features that need to be used for a secure mobile chat:
Enhancing security for apps is very important in today’s day and age. Privacy is an important aspect and the users need apps that do not disclose their personal information. Users are drifting towards apps that store very little personal information and use it sparingly for advertisements or their personal benefits.
App-Scoop app developers can help you build an app that has end-to-end encryption for maximum security of data and develop a secure chat for your mobile app.
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