8 Proven Ways to Boost the Security of Your Mobile Banking App

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Trust is a big factor to win customers in the financial industry. If your products turn out to be inferior, you can quickly lose the faith of your consumers.

Worst of all, you may never win back that trust if your app suffers a security breach.

Sadly, the problem is more common than you can imagine. 40% of Android mobile banking apps contain medium security threats, while 3% are vulnerable to high client-side attack risks.

In addition, 57% of apps come with low risks.

Do you think iOS is a better platform to target?

37% of iOS mobile banking apps are vulnerable to medium risks, while 63% are prone to low risks. Therefore, it is a common problem of banking apps, no matter the platform you use.

Now, the responsibility lies with banks to plug the vulnerabilities and beef the security of their products. Below are 8 ways you can try to improve the security of your mobile banking app.

1. Use Open Source Services with Caution

Open source resources can be a great way to lower your costs. However, they can contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to compromise your app.

As per Security Magazine, 63% of mobile apps use open source software components that contain at least one security issue.

In addition, these vulnerabilities exist in all app categories, and not just finance.

However, 94% of these vulnerabilities have publicly available fixes. Therefore, always be mindful of the vulnerabilities of any open source service you use.

Next, develop your app to eliminate those vulnerabilities.

2. Ditch Waterfall Development

Are you still developing your apps using the waterfall method?

Traditional development techniques like the waterfall method don’t suit modern apps. In addition, they are also not the best approach for financial apps that need constant upgrade and maintenance.

As a result, you should adopt an agile development method for your banking app. Break down the whole development workflow into small chunks and take up one task at a time.

In addition, work in short sprints focusing on a single deliverable or feature.

The process improves the quality of your code and reduces the chances of bugs.

3. Adopt DevSecOps

DevOps is a great strategy to build robust apps. It encourages the operations team to be a part of the development process.

As a result, both developers and operations staff can exchange insights to develop high-quality products.

However, now you can take that one step further with DevSecOps. It allows security experts to work with your developers and operations teams to build your app.

The perk is the integration of security at each stage of the SDLC.  

Needless to say, DevSecOps enables you to develop mobile banking apps with uncompromised security.

4. Try Test Driven Development

Test driven development concentrates on establishing unit test cases prior to writing the actual code. It draws inspiration from agile development and extreme programming.

Test driven development enables you to write optimized code. In addition, your codebase becomes flexible and simple to maintain as your design quality improves.

Best of all, test driven development increases your test coverage more than any other development method.

Moreover, you have a very low chance of any bugs being present in your mobile banking app.

You can use test driven development as a part of many development models.

5. Update Your Tech Stack

73% of the security vulnerabilities found in mobile apps by Security Magazine were over two years old. However, there were more secure versions of services and patches already available.

It is not a secret that outdated core software or plugins can invite vulnerabilities. They are far more easy for cybercriminals to exploit and cause harm.

Therefore, always update your tech stack to avoid any preventable attacks. In addition, urge your customers to update their mobile banking apps to stay secure.

6. Analyze Your Source Code

Developers may leave behind sensitive data in source code that can come under the radar of cybercriminals. You may also have personal information hidden in the configuration files of your banking app.

The list of vulnerable data may include JSON web tokens, passwords, emails, or even AWS keys. These can give a hacker easy access to your systems and customer data.

As a result, it is crucial to analyze your code for any vulnerability. Otherwise, an unintended mistake can cause a heavy dent in your customer trust and even revenues.

7. Develop a Threat Model

It is not difficult to lose your focus on security by trying to chase innovation. As a result, Accenture recommends having a consistent approach to secure the development process. It doesn’t matter which development model you use as the benefits extend to all.

Therefore, start by creating a threat model that identifies both internal and external threats. It will help the developers and security team to be aware of probable risks. They can also stay updated on the latest technological advancements exploited by cybercriminals.

The approach will enable banks to tackle cybercrime proactively.

You can create a threat model for your mobile banking app focusing on:

  • App and features
  • Architecture including your server-end
  • Runtime environments

8. Run an App Audit

The best way to secure your banking app is to conduct a security audit. Wizard can lead the effort with top expertise and years of experience in cyber security. Our services include:

  • Security audits by a certified information system auditor
  • Vulnerability testing of your tech stack and security protocols
  • Penetration testing by certified ethical hackers
  • Data-driven risk analysis
  • Threat model analysis

Get in touch with us today to take advantage of our security experts. We can help you secure your financial apps, data, and users.

Final Thoughts

Mobile banking apps should have enterprise-grade security. The effort to secure your app should start with the first stage of development. In addition, you should integrate security into your development process to close any potential vulnerability. Moreover, get your basics right like using 2FA, HTTPS, WAF, and end-to-end encryption. Last but not least, educate your customers to avoid falling victim to any malware or phishing scams.