Through the use of mobile apps, it is possible for you to improve interactions with your customers, ultimately leading to great success for your business. It is also possible to use mobile apps to streamline your operations within the business, potentially leading to further success for the enterprise. In that regard, there are mobile apps you can use to reduce operating costs for your business while, at the same time, improving efficiency in your business processes… But the use of mobile apps comes with certain challenges.
One of the major challenges associated with business mobile apps is in the area of security. Business mobile apps can be used by people with bad intentions to sabotage your business. People who wish to infiltrate your business computer systems can potentially do so through the apps. People who wish to steal your business data can potentially do so through the apps. And people who wish to damage your business reputation can potentially do so by hijacking your mobile apps.
Seen in that light, mobile app security becomes very critical. As a modern business, you can’t really afford to refrain from using mobile apps, notwithstanding the security vulnerabilities associated with the apps. But you have to find a way of securing the apps. You have to find a way of minimizing the security vulnerabilities. And that question, on how to secure your business mobile apps, will be the focus of this article: as we try to identify some of the practical things you can do, to secure your business mobile apps. Here, we won’t be going into technical details – things like encrypting the code, securing APIs and so on. On the contrary, we will be dealing with the issue at an executive level: examining things you can do, as a business owner (and not as an app developer), to secure your business mobile apps. We will be dealing with this issue at two levels. In the first level, we will be looking at things you can do, to ensure that the mobile apps that are created for your business are secure, to start with. That is where we will look at things like working with competent and experienced app developers, being ready to spend enough money on the development of the apps, taking the app developers to task and ensuring that the apps are properly tested. And in the second level, we will be looking at things you can do, to ensure that the mobile apps that are created for your business are kept secure. That is where we will be dealing with the matter of ensuring that the apps are regularly updated.
Working with competent and experienced app developers
Perhaps the most important thing for you to do, if you wish to end up with business mobile apps that are secure, is to ensure that you only work with competent and experienced developers. This is because ‘developer error’ is the biggest cause of mobile app security problems. And the way to minimize such developer errors is by working with competent and experienced app developers.
An app developer who is competent will be knowledgeable about the technologies to use, so as to come up with mobile apps that are secure. And a developer who, at the same time, is experienced will have a better understanding of the tricks that are used by mobile app saboteurs. He will have an understanding of some of the practical steps that can be taken, to minimize security vulnerabilities in mobile apps.
It makes sense to work with a mobile app developer who is well-established on the business side, and who therefore has a reputation to protect. You can find these developers on freelancer sites like upwork or freelancer.com
Being ready to spend enough money on business mobile apps development
You have to be ready to spend enough money on mobile apps development, if you are to get mobile apps that are truly secure. We have already given the recommendation of using mobile app developers who are truly competent and experienced. But what you are likely to discover is that such (competent and experienced) mobile app developers usually charge higher fees for their services. So you may find, on the one hand, mobile app developers that are charging less – but who are neither very competent nor very experienced. On the other hand, you may find mobile app developers that are charging more, but are also very competent and experienced. The temptation to save money, by hiring the developers who are charging less, may be very strong. But you have to consider the potential cost of having your mobile apps’ security breached, and the cost you’d have to incur in getting the issue dealt with. When you look at the matter from that point of view, you’d be inclined to spend enough money on mobile apps development.
But we have to make a disclaimer here: to the effect that not every app developer who charges a lot of money is necessarily among the best. Sometimes, you may find a developer who charges less, yet is much more competent and experienced than the one who is charging more. So you have to know what to look for, and ensure that there is something to justify any extra dollar you spend on mobile app development.
Taking the business mobile apps developers to task
You need to know what the relevant questions to ask the app developers are, and ensure that you take the developers to task over these matters. You may not be a techie, but you can ask the mobile app developers questions about the programming languages they are using, the API security measures they are putting in place, the code and data encryption measures they are implementing… and so on. You can research online, to get the relevant issues to raise with the developer. Once the developer gets the impression that he is dealing with a knowledgeable client, he will be inclined to really pull up his socks, and develop truly good apps.
Ensuring that the apps are properly tested
You have to ensure that the business mobile apps that are developed for you are subjected to thorough testing, before being deployed. You should try to be part of the testing exercise. And you should ensure that any problems that are identified during the testing exercise are resolved, before the apps are deployed.
Ensuring that the apps are regularly updated
Business mobile app development is not a ‘one off’ exercise. Once the business mobile apps are developed, you need to ensure that they are regularly updated, in line with the emerging security issues. You can maintain links with the developer who created the apps for you, to ensure that the developer updates the apps for you on an ongoing basis, as need arises. That would be the most ideal way to go about it.