Billions of mobile phone users, millions of mobile apps, and therefore threats are bound to arise. It is one thing to visit the OS marketplace for downloading apps but it takes some efforts to manage the same. Apps are capable of inviting troubles to devices through viruses, malwares, hacks, and other security threats.
Henceforth, it is indispensable to protect mobile devices by advocating systematic approach towards information security management. To ensure smooth functioning of devices along with optimal utility of mobile apps, precautions must be taken while using apps. Here are few the important ideas on how to make safe and efficient use of mobile apps.
Information Security Management techniques for a fulfilling mobile experience in 2016.
App Download and Installation
With the advent rapidly growing mobile app industry, more than 1,000 apps are submitted to Apple’s App Store every day by developers. This opens up the gamut of choices for users to scan, understand, download, install and use a mobile app which can serve the purpose. But from here itself the threat infliction starts.
Utmost care must be taken by users before downloading and running the app. This means, one must learn about the app, read user reviews and check the credibility on the basis of user ratings. It makes sense in downloading the app only after identifying its trustworthiness.
From the developer’s end it is essential to figure out the cryptography for the security purpose, beforehand. For e.g.; algorithms and protocols like MD5 and SHA1 may not suffice the modern security requirement for mobile apps. The idea here is to use only modern algorithms which are accepted by the shared security protocols.
For e.g.; integrating AES with 256-bit key for encryption and SHA-256 for hashing. In case of the cryptography dilemma it is always recommended to invest in mutual analysis which includes penetration testing, threat modelling, and interactive tools assuring modification in active sessions.
This crucial end-user touchpoint is pretty much to be blamed for when it comes to malware attack through mobile app. There are scenarios where users are requested for accessing certain information over app interactivity. Here, little amount of laziness or ignorance can make way for threat to crawl in the personal data.
Not only this exposes device to vulnerabilities but also paves way for prospective hacks through private information. It is always advisable to read and understand the access permissions before allowing the same to cause harm.
Unencrypted Wireless Transmissions
Best practice to avoid security threats is to keep the auto-connect feature ‘off’ for wireless services such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.in mobile device. Not all the wireless transmissions are encrypted.
And when it comes to communicating sensitive information like e-mails and personal messages over mobile devices many applications do not encrypt the transmitted data. It paves the way for hackers in case of data transmission through unencrypted Wi-Fi network as the shared information can be easily intercepted.
Data Encryption for Device
The best way is to safeguard our own home than to blame others for invoking threat. Threats are always uninvited but keeping personal data encrypted makes sure of security. This is done through file encryption which helps protecting sensitive data stored on mobile devices and memory cards. This is possible by utilizing built-in encryption capabilities or incorporating available encryption tools.
Again, this one is one of the key protocol for any developer to ensure security by preventing unauthorized users to access secured information. In order to maintain the confidentiality of data the best approach is to drill in the two-factor authentication. This typically includes amalgamation of user name and password.
Also, adding a ‘security’ question ensures information privacy and thereby eliminating threat at the access level itself. Any mobile app running on a mobile device with such security protocols can add a structured security. If compatible with certain devices, adopting biometric security guarantees data protection. This can be achieved successfully through various biometric identifiers like fingerprint identification, face detection, iris recognition, etc.
When running multiple mobile apps on a single device it is always good to have an anti-malware software installed. This guarantees protection against malicious applications, Spywares, viruses which includes Trojan, and other malware-based attacks.
Most of the mobile phone users make big mistake by not installing a malware protection software. But on the other end the argument of users also hold true that it lowers down operational speed while at the same time reduces battery life of the device.
Therefore the onus of safeguarding information security in mobile devices lies on both the parties involved – developers and users, this shall ensure the smooth functioning of mobile app in device by maintaining the privacy of user’s information. What is more important over here is to strike a balance between the device’s OS and app developers.
The old quote of ‘precaution is better than cure’ pretty much holds true in this case. But sadly, in the virtual world there is no cure for the mismanaged information security as this causes permanent and irreparable damage to data.
There are several other information security management techniques one could implement in preventing unauthorized access and hacking of ones valuable data. We have covered above some, but now is your own time to present yours!
What are the working information security management techniques you’ve implemented from above points? And tell us how the experience was.