Undoubtedly, data breaches are expensive to businesses directly or indirectly in payment apps. Unfortunately, these cyberattacks are increasing every subsequent year worldwide at an alarming rate. This is a wake-up call for businesses that they take seriously in the digital landscape.
A point in the case: Heartland payment system data breach is one of the most ill-famed data breaches. The system was so confident about its payment processing security that it announced a security breach warranty for every user.
Alas! Russian hackers broke the security through a web form, and 130 million credit and debit card numbers get compromised. It was a lesson to the IT world about the things that need to take care of during payment app development.
How can developers build secure payment apps?
Here, we have come up with the best practices for developers to mitigate the risks of data breaches and make the payment app robust and secure, allowing no one to inject vulnerabilities. The developers keep this checklist to ensure secure payment app development.
1) Keep Security Tight from the get-go.
According to a report from risk-based security, more than 15.1 billion records are exposed to security breaches, which is up by 284% from the last year.
All-time high, ghastly numbers are on record, making businesses not consider security an afterthought. They expect the same from the developers from the project’s inception. With everything building on-premises or off-premises due to remote workstyle, it’s important to prioritize security at every app development and deployment stage.
The early precaution to fix the security issues from the beginning prevents the security issues to becomes worse at the end when they become resource-intensive and expensive as well.
For instance, trying to fix broken cryptography, poor authorization, or unintended data leakage problem after the app development results in disrupted business processes, poor UX, and performance issues.
2) Take a 360-degree tour of Platforms and Frameworks.
The mobile apps featuring payment options or payment app development are built for majorly two platforms- iOS and Android. The developers should research in-depth the security aspect of every operating system and the technologies to use.
The SDKs, APIs, frameworks, software libraries, and other resources must be evaluated before leveraging them during development. The development community and other forums are good places to know about them.
For instance, Android apps are susceptible to risk due to insufficient code obfuscation that makes reverse-engineering or decompiling of the code possible, which puts the app at risk. The developers should leverage patented source-code level obfuscation while developing a payment app for the Android platform to shield it against malware.
3) Ensure Robust, Secure Authentication
The first step to accessing the payment app is the authentication process, which is a favorite destination for fraudsters to put a dent in the security threat. A strong authentication and authorization mechanism is all-important to take care of identity management, session management, privacy, and other security features.
Incorporating multi-factor authentication and mandating log-in for every session is vital for protecting data. Also, developers can use OpenID connect protocol or OAuth 2.0 authorization framework to make authentication highly secure.
Third-party payment gateway integration is also a good solution that processes transactions and verification, reducing the liability of taking care of transaction security and compliances. However, third-party payment gateway integration means giving a cut from every transaction followed by monthly fees.
4) Take care of secure communications.
The users leverage the payment app for various purposes such as paying bills, shopping, and more. The sensitive data is shared across all the platforms through payment which is secured by converting sensitive data into non-sensitive, that’s impossible to read.
This is referred to as tokenization, which is highly used by Apple Pay and Google pay to keep the card information safe. It prevents data security breaches by replacing gold data with dead data. That’s of no use to hackers if they manage to steal it.
Another way of securing transactions is encrypting data during communication. However, using cryptographic keys to encrypt the data is not enough, as cyber hackers can break the encryption algorithms and steal keys.
Taking a step further, white-box cryptography for keys protection and keeping them secure is the best solution that transforms and obscures the cryptographic algorithms. Thereby tracing algorithms and extracting keys become impossible.
There are many runtime App Self-Protection (RASP) tools that help in detecting threats when an app runs by monitoring the context of input behavior, network attacks, and compromised devices. The earlier detection helps in mitigating the risk to the entire ecosystem. It eliminates the need to build and deliver a new binary app.
5) Comply with security mandates
Around two decades back, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSCC) was created by an international payment network to build standards that prevent credit card fraud and ensure a higher degree of protection for users worldwide.
The latest PCI DSS 4.0 version provides a set of guidelines that payment apps should follow to make secure payment processing, data storage, and data transmission. Meeting PCI security standards is all-important for organizations that require them to continuously test, protect cardholders’ data, make access controls strongly secure, and more.
6) Data protection on a device
Thorough testing is vital to ensure the users’ monetary accounts access and critical data won’t be hacked by fraudsters. The security standards mandates meeting the security requirements for the device so that users’ data won’t get compromised. That’s where on-device protection with an ML-based algorithm helps in protecting devices with improved visibility.
Also, Blockchain technology leverage is one of the ways to make it impossible to alter, transfer, or hack the records unless the customer permits the same. Mobile banking apps are increasingly embracing technology to elevate user experience with no security lapses.
Penetration testing is also one of the great ways to test the app’s defense and identify security patches that can put a dent in the security net. Such ethical hacking strengthens the app’s security framework and keeps malware at bay.
The mobile app development services help businesses to get a high-quality app developed without investing precious time and efforts that they can spend on business core activities.
What’s more? The companies have well-versed experts that have experience in including proper service protections that prevent putting business information at risk, damage to reputation, lawsuits, and much more.
Also, make sure the developers use the app security checklist when developing a payment app to stop unexpected hacks before they control everything. Let’s outwit the adversary by following the checklist.