In our always-on world, data is the new currency.
With the escalating number of data breaches and cyber threats, app developers have a pivotal role in safeguarding user data.
The digital realm is rife with various threats, from sophisticated phishing attacks to more covert malware threats. Understanding these potential threats is the first step towards building a robust defence mechanism for customer data.
It’s good to look at the bigger picture to understand just how serious data breaches can be. In 2023 alone, there have been over 1,400 major data breaches in the UK, with 5,951,612,884 records leaked.
And breaches can be expensive. In May, Meta was fined an eye-watering €1.2 billion in a groundbreaking decision in the past five years of GDPR enforcement. Issued by the Irish government, the fine was issued for transferring European users’ data to the United States without adequate data protection mechanisms.
If you want to avoid the chances of being hit by fines and, more importantly, damaging your company’s reputation, it’s vital that you put data protection at the heart of your operation.
Below, we’ve put together some of the strategies and best practices that app developers can adopt to protect their customers’ data effectively.
Encryption is a fundamental aspect of data security.
Encrypting data at rest and in transit ensures that even if data is intercepted, it remains unintelligible and secure. Apple has put together a guide to encryption for iOS devices, and you’ll find more valuable resources on encrypting data on your app on the Tozny website.
Strong authentication mechanisms such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access. We’ve already put together some of the reasons why your business needs to introduce two-factor authentication, but you may also want to consider passwordless authentication options.
Conducting periodic security audits helps identify vulnerabilities in the app’s infrastructure.
Addressing these weaknesses promptly is crucial to prevent potential data breaches.
If you’re concerned that you could be missing important elements, working with a third-party app developer or a security specialist could offer peace of mind and ensure compliance.
Incorporating privacy features at the developmental stage of the app – not as an afterthought – ensures a more secure product. From the MVP right through to launch, make sure you’re considering data protection in every aspect of the app’s design and updates.
Collect only the data that is absolutely necessary for the app’s functionality.
Unnecessary data can become a liability if breached. Do you really need to know your users’ home addresses if you’re offering a free online service? Do you need to store their card details or can you use Apple Pay and Google Pay for a seamless user experience instead?
Educating users about safe data practices is often overlooked but is a crucial aspect of data protection. Simple guidelines on password creation, recognising phishing attempts, and safe browsing can significantly reduce risks. Bake this into your app’s onboarding process and continue to educate and inform your users throughout their lifecycle to minimise risk.
Understanding and complying with data protection laws like GDPR, CCPA, and others is essential. These regulations provide a framework for data security and impose penalties for non-compliance. Speaking with a professional can offer peace of mind.
Data protection is not just a technical challenge; it’s a cultural one.
Building a security culture within your development team and your wider organisation is key to ensuring that data protection is a continuous and evolving process. If you’re working with a third-party developer, like the app development team at Zudu, make sure you’re on the same page about security and lean on their security expertise throughout the process.
Regular training sessions for the development team on the latest security trends and threats can help maintain a high level of awareness and preparedness, as can engaging with the wider developer community and sharing best practices and learnings.
Protecting customer data is not just a responsibility but also a necessity in the age of digital transactions. By implementing robust security measures, educating users, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement in data security, app developers can significantly mitigate the risks associated with data breaches.
Reach out to our team if you have any questions!