How Encryption Enhances Data Protection in Web and Mobile Apps
Mobile devices account for over 54% of online traffic. This is because of the shifting trends in how people use mobile devices and applications. The current digital transformation and a global pandemic are the key factors driving the change. There is an increased demand for a personalized digital experience driving the growth. However, with digital experience comes the need to use personal data. In many cases, we often overlook the aspect of security.
Web app and mobile data security safeguards user data from loss, manipulation, malware, breaches, and attacks. This brings the need to use data encryption to safeguard data.
The process of data encryption involves transforming digital data into ciphertext from plain text. The ciphertext is data in an incomprehensible format that one cannot understand at face value. You can do this using piece of information generated from cryptographic algorithms known as a Key. This enables you to safeguard your data via a mobile device or online platform while in transit.
One can only read encrypted information by decrypting it using a decryption key. We have two types of encryptions. They include:
- Public key or asymmetric encryption: This method uses two different keys. One for encryption aw well as a different one for decryption. We refer to the encryption key as the public key while the decryption key is the private key.
- Symmetric encryption: this method uses a single key for encryption and decryption.
Common encryption standards
The key exchange process, the key generation, the key size, and the algorithm used to determine how strong your encryption will be. Some of the essential standards we use include:
- Data encryption standard (DES) — This standard uses 56 bit long symmetric key algorithm. It was mainly essential in the 70s. However, we consider it very weak due to its short key size.
- Triple DES — It is also a symmetric key algorithm. It works by applying the DES cipher thrice to every data bloc. However, it still uses the 56-bit key length.
- RSA — This standard is ideal for an app that needs digital signatures. This encryption standard uses an auxiliary value and two secret prime numbers. We use the prime numbers for decryption.
- Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) — This symmetric algorithm alongside the block cipher. This is a preferred standard across many encryption tools.
- Blowfish & Twofish — Regarding software development, Blowfish is the best bet. It uses a 64-bit block size. On the other hand, Twofish applies the symmetric cipher algorithm. In addition, it is an improved version of the Blowfish. It uses a 128-bit block size algorithm.
It is essential to understand the standard you are using for better protection.
States of a Web app and mobile data
For better data protection, you need to know when to apply encryption. We have three main states in which you can apply data encryption.
- Data at rest — This is the data in storage. It is not in transit or operation.
- Data in transit is the data moving from one place to another. It could be between public or private networks.
- Data in use — This refers to the date undergoing a specified operation.
Why are web apps and mobile data protection essential?
Several compliance regulations mandate developers to ensure that they are compliant with data privacy policies.
Compliance: this is where users must follow the industry’s rules and policies. Data compliance affects user data’s integrity, storage, use, and collection. It includes sensitive protected health information, financial data, and personally identifiable information. Some bodies that enforce this compliance regulation have PIPEDA, CPRA, CCPA, AND GDPR.
Difference between mobile app and web app security
Both platforms deal with accessing, moving, and manipulating personal data. However, they have their differences. They have a different architecture that impacts data encryption approaches. Web apps use dynamic websites that change display depending on the user input. On the other hand, the application retrieves their information from servers. This allows you to put layers of protection on the server to restrict unnecessary information access. Applications can use firewall protection, while web apps work best with SSL and TLS encryption.
You can install it on your mobile device with mobile applications. The risk is that an attack on the server can affect multiple devices, which puts a lot of data at risk. This call for one to ensure that they encrypt data at all three stages.
How to use encryption to protect web apps and mobile data
In adjusting the company’s necessities to make a safe application that meets consistence prerequisites and shopper security concerns, mobile application designers use encryption to safeguard against dangers.
The accompanying spreads out accepted procedures for utilizing encryption and other mobile application security tips:
The two main attacks directed at source code include attackers infusing malware into weaknesses or bugs in the source code. The other is an attacker exfiltrating the code to repackage the application (with malware) to new clueless clients. Source code encryption is the demonstration of safeguarding the protected innovation (source code) of the Web or mobile application against exfiltration (burglary), control, or splitting the difference by the assault by making the code or documents/strings in the code muddled — and accordingly unusable by digital attackers.
Key administration best practices include many strides to safeguard the whole lifecycle of the cryptographic keys. So why bother locking your entryways (encryption) on the off chance you won’t keep your keys secure.
Best practices for encryption key administration incorporate taking on the accompanying tips or utilizing a key management system (KMS) to robotize a few of these undertakings:
- Continuously keep review logs of key creation, use, and erasure
- Tie authorizations to each key to guarantee they have restricted utilizes
- Influence KMIP (key management interoperability protocol) for secure key circulation with the encoded key vehicle on a TLS divert or disconnected in a split part dispersion
- Confine admittance to keys to just the individuals who need it, with legitimate client validation, or require a base number of individuals to endorse specific tasks
- Resign unused keys to lessen any unjustifiable entry
- Update or pivot encryption keys consistently
- Utilize a dedicated public key framework
- Secure access to the critical servers
- Characterize a crypto time, a proper time frame during which a key is approved for use
- Pick the right calculation and critical size for every encryption use case
- Foster strategies and frameworks for key services
Research has shown that 76% of mobile apps have uncertain information storage that puts delicate end-client data in danger and possibly disregards consistency guidelines. This way, It is critical to guarantee that unstructured information is put away in the local document frameworks, and additionally, data sets on the cell phone are scrambled against weaknesses.
The risk continually advances as innovation changes, and cybercriminals continue attempting to “break” existing security insurances. To develop a satisfactory degree of safety, engineers should keep steady over patterns in cryptography and perform normal entrance testing and danger displaying to guarantee encryption is working.
Although AES is the flow-believed norm utilized by the US government, analysts are still dealing with new and arising principles like ECC, which the NSA now acknowledges for crucial trade and advanced marks.
Inseparably with encryption, solid multifaceted confirmation is required for both end clients and inside clients, especially those with certain degrees of access. Following the zero-trust model, “never trust, consistently check,” pick no less than two verification variables for clients. In a perfect world, your application can offer clients more than one approach to verify their most favored solid choice, such as an equipment token.
Hope you’ve got the idea on how to protect the data, to know more connect with mobile app development company!
Originally published at https://www.aalpha.net on June 22, 2022.