Business, Development, Fundamentals Friday December 4, 2020

The Complete Guide for Business Owners To Secure Your Mobile Commerce App

With the emergence of new and latest smartphones every day in the market, mobile commerce has become the trending platform for online businesses. M-Commerce is exploring the new market possibilities in the e-commerce domain by using the drastic increase of internet users access via smartphones.

In today’s fast and quick world, M-commerce offers users the opportunity to buy products within the comfort of their smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. It is helping the retail industry to boom by capturing a larger segment of the market who have access to smartphones over laptops and PCs.

Cybersecurity is also a major point of concern for developer and app owners. According to a Forbes report, every day on an average 30,000 websites are reported to be hacked. To make your mobile commerce app secure you should be aware of all the potential threats to m-commerce apps.

Every security threat can cause the potential users/shoppers to stop using your application by losing trust in the security features. Hence, for most business owners, how to secure the m-commerce app is the worrisome aspect of application.

To guide you in the complete process of m-commerce security, we have compiled this article with all minute details that an app owner should know. Read and follow the article to understand why securing the m-commerce app is so crucial – and how to achieve it.

For the newbies in eCommerce who don’t know the basics.

What Is Mobile Commerce?

Mobile commerce(m-commerce) use devices such as smartphones and tablets to carry out commercial online transactions involving the buying and selling of products, financial transactions and paying bills. Shopping apps, digital purchases and in-app payments are the popular examples of m-commerce.

M-Commerce is an upcoming model where firms and individuals can conduct business online over the internet by a simple mobile device. M-Commerce enables the online consumers to order, pay and purchase the products and services without hassle with few simple clicks.

Why Is M-Commerce Security Crucial For Your App?

Securing your m-commerce app is important for various reasons such as:

  • When the customers download and install your application, you are binding yourself with the responsibility to provide a safe application and hence, need to ensure the data security of the users.
  • If you fail to provide a protected app environment, users can abandon your application for safety reasons leading to reduced engagement and direct sales.
  • The security breach can impact the trust of the customers in the brand leading to bad-mouthing and negative publicity.

As m-commerce app owner it is your due responsibility to create a safe and secure application for your end-users. You can not stop the hackers from practising illegal activities, but you can undertake preventive measures to secure your online application and the data of the users.

What Are The Major Security Threats in M-Commerce?

Every mobile commerce application is most susceptible through the 3 main elements of application. These 3 elements are as follow:

  • Users – customers logging into application and making transaction
  • Server – framework that hosts the application
  • Connection – streamlines the above two components together

The cyber attackers can exploit any of these elements to break into the system, threatening the security of the app and user. Hence, app owners need to work in each element to build a security system that can identify and counter the vulnerabilities in the app.

What Type Of Security Threats M-Commerce App Is Exposed To?

M-Commerce application is exposed to multiple external threats. Let’s understand these threats to make sure your app users do not fall prey to these attacks.

There are 4 major types of threats present in today’s m-commerce business:

1. Data leakage:

This is the most compromised aspect of online applications. Hackers break inside the user application to access personal and financial information through a virus or malicious software. The cyber attackers can also aim to fetch the sensitive data of the firm that can cause severe damage to the company financially.

2. Device content breach:

The compromised applications may contain a code snippet that can download and install malware on your mobile device. The infected apps may ask for unnecessary permissions to users to misuse critical data such as mobile contacts, personal messages and text/image media.

The questionable access permissions may look like:

  • Accounts access: It explores the user’s crucial data including e-mail addresses and credentials.
  • Microphone access: It can record your entire phone conversations.
  • Device admin permission: It can give complete device access to hackers that result in ransom attacks.

If any compromised application is having access to the user’s device, and your application saves its files in a public place, it’s easy for the hackers to access this data.

3. Cross-Site Scripting Attacks:

Michał Bentkowski recently published a study – deep dive explaining how the copy and paste between two browser tabs exploits visitors to raise awareness against such malicious attacks. Whenever user copy and paste the ids and passwords in web browsers or websites, data exfiltration is possible. The cyber attackers can access your mobile clipboard and crack your passwords.

4. Hacked Payments:

The lack of end to end encryption at the payment gateway result in failed transactions. The compromised payment system can lead to loss of money without the order placement and lost revenue for the company. The customers can end up paying the amount to hackers instead of your m-commerce store.

How To Secure Your M-Commerce App?

Now that you know what m-commerce is, why is m-commerce security important and how it can be exploited. Let’s get down to the most important step that is how to protect the vulnerable security loopholes in your app.

1.Mobile-specific security solutions:

Following the phone verification method for the account creation of users can help in verifying the identity of the customers. You can also apply some other mobile-specific security solutions such as:

  • Blocking the app’s view during switching to a different app that will stop the preview of the app’s content
  • Anti-tampering by using malware scanners or anti-virus applications
  • Secured clipboards that will hide the visibility of copied password in other apps
  • UI security implementation to avoid data leaks by password masking or validation of data
  • IPC protection (Inter-Process Communication) measures to system components that will allow communication between different apps or the app and system.

Secure your apps with additional security checks to ensure that communication happens only between the server and user mobile devices.

2. Certificate Guarantee:

Mobile applications need to adhere to the legal security regulations by getting security certifications. The well-aware customers before carrying out any online transaction look at the website’s address bar in mobile browser. If this address bar starts with HTTPS with secure padlock it ensures the website authenticity. 

Security implementations help you to protect the user’s financial details and order transactions with end-to-end encryption and secured server. When the website is secure with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the user details are encrypted during the transaction this prevents the hackers to access user data illegally.  

3. Use biometric authentication

Biometric authentication has proven to be safer and secure than the traditional payment methods, but there is still a stigma around this technology. Biometric screening such as face, fingerprint, iris, and voice can be effective to identify and verify app users.

Make sure never rely only on one of the biometric parameters. You must use at least two of these metrics to ensure a secure system. Biometric authentication can provide an additional security layer for critical payment transactions.

4. Binary Safety

One of the most common strategies hackers use to break into a system is by reverse coding. Compilers can also scan the app to intercept data from the multiple compiled source code. You need to protect your application code with binary protection to make decoding harder for the hackers. 

This prevents hackers to easily crack open your application with target attacks. Your application should  include these features, and must be enabled all the time.

 5. Analytics solutions and ads SDKs

Your m-commerce application will require a reliable analytics tool and advertisement SDK to simplify your ad promotions without security issues. This ads SDK will enable your Ad management account and ad unit IDs that will establish the places in the app where your ads will be displayed to cross-promote to your user base. 

But before you select your tools make sure to check the previous users experience in security parameters.

 Key Takeaways:

Security is the continuous ongoing process that is constantly challenged by the latest upcoming cyber threats in the market. It’s barely possible to guarantee 100% security of the application and end-users. Hence, upgrade your security implications with new regulations and technology solutions regularly.

We hope with this intensive guide, now you know how to secure your m-commerce app. As m-commerce application owner, your key responsibilities involve creating security dependency on the app by the users. Hire an experienced development team that have proficiency in creating secure m-commerce apps to get the best results.

Develop a highly secured m-commerce app system by filling all the security loopholes to make all possible breach vectors difficult for the hacker to crack.

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