Last year, mobile Internet usage accounted for nearly 50 percent of online traffic worldwide, while billions of users now access mobile applications on a regular basis. As smartphone and tablet browsing continues to increase personally and professionally, having a succinct mobile development strategy is rapidly becoming an essential element of every business’ success.
Whether you are an IT director or a VP of Engineering, now is the time to take calculated steps to ensure you are considering every facet of lean development, internal and external user security, and user experience. Review the information below to determine if you have the right strategy in place.
Important Phases of Mobile Development & Security Strategy
- Define Your Approach
The first step in creating and managing a successful mobile strategy is understanding how it will meet your business goals – and what potential risks are ahead of you. Consider your company’s corporate objectives and audience demographics, then flesh out how mobile Internet and application initiatives will enhance that growth.
Work with your IT and engineering teams to decide who will be responsible for outlining and enforcing policies, as well as what successful implementation looks like. Once you create your policy, you can plan how to handle your strategy’s most critical components.
- Understand Your Strategy Components
The most important elements of your mobile strategy include how your website or application will perform on its intended devices, how secure it is, and how well the design works for the user. Discuss with your development team about risks and benefits as they relate to application authentication, development, and manipulation of data both in transit and at rest. Addressing these three areas will ensure you do not miss a key consideration along the way.
- Choose the Right Mobile Environment
Once you have the basics down, finalize how to best reach your audience. Some organizations find their users are primarily accessing applications on Apple’s iOS, while others are browsing your website via the Internet on an Android phone.
If you are currently unsure of the best environment, market research and consumer feedback can help. Hire a research team, ask your development or marketing agency for resources, and examine your website and social media analytics to determine how customers like to access your information. Some organizations will find that developing an app will provide their clients with a quicker and easier way to purchase or utilize their goods or services.
- Secure Your Devices
Evaluate your internal and external devices and applications for safety by investing in strong server-side controls, efficient transport layer protection, proper data storage, and the appropriate binary protections. Considering these important elements of application security will ensure you are less susceptible to hackers and malware.
- Safeguard Your App
If you are in an industry like law or healthcare and need extra levels of security, app-wrapping is a popular way to protect during application deployment. By encapsulating the software in a managed sandbox environment, you will drastically reduce your chances of a security breach. Discuss with your development team the pros and cons of doing this in iOS. While Apple supports wrapping, it is not encouraged. Android tends to be more flexible.
- Optimize by OS
At least one member of your IT team should be regularly reviewing OS security guides and code samples to ensure your business is using the most up to date prevention and hardening tools. Keeping up to date with iOS is more complicated than Android, so address this fact with your team while creating a security review plan.
- Consider APIs
Check and double check security for each API in transit and at rest. SSL and 256-bit encryption should be enough for data in transit, while data at rest must be secured at the endpoint of the origin of the data as well as the smartphone or tablet itself. By ensuring each API requires app-level authentication, you will validate who is using the services and limit sensitive data to memory.
By keeping these steps in mind, you and your team will organize and implement a more secure and lean mobile app development and protection strategy. Should you need additional advice or support about your enterprise’s mobile plan, iTexico is here to help. Click to learn more about how our development experts and our NearshorePlus services can assist you.