Whether you own a website or a mobile app, the first thing you ask your users is the right to their user information. The more you know about them the better service or product you can offer them thus growing your traffic and conversion rate.
But are you making sure you protect their data that they trust and give you in return for your services?
Possessing users information puts you in a tight spot where you have to ensure that the data is not being leaked or hacked. Every database admin worries about data being leaked and those working in a mobile app development company have to worry just a bit more because mobile app developers store data in a database which makes that repository a one stop for hackers.
In order to stop data from being leaked, encryption is the best tool for protection, but you should also consider user experience when choosing an encryption strategy.
This scenario of data being leaked has become a big issue across the world. On 5th April 2018, the world woke up to one of the biggest data leaks from Facebook Inc. Personal information of as many as 87 million people were leaked. About 270,000 people downloaded a personality quiz app and shared information about themselves and their friends with a researcher, who then passed along the information to Cambridge Analytica, in a move that Facebook says was against its rules.
This leaves app developers with only one option, if you can’t build strong outer perimeter to protect the information, you should store it in such a way that is is not useful to anyone accessing it.
Many programmers think that the data should be stored in a way that it is readable by fellow programmers but there are clever ways to store it while still allowing colleagues to serve users.
FInding a solution for data security is important because mobile devices are routinely asking for users information and store it in cloud and to feel more secure you need to trust cloud can protect your data as soon as it leaves the device.
The first step is to understand that developers need not store every bit of data on cloud. Most developers think storing everything will help them later in case they need any piece of information. But keeping all data on cloud creates way for hackers. Developers need to know which information will be useful and store just that.
The trick is to encrypt or scramble the data. This makes data difficult to read but useful to those who are working on it.
You can choose from several techniques that will let your database do useful work without having any useful data inside of it.
- Consider the SHA-3 option – Many programmers know the technique of using a cryptographic hash function to scramble password.
- Don’t scramble everything – You don’t need to hide everything. Programmers can scramble the name, email and password of the user and leave the rest.
Apart from these two, there are several trade offs a developer needs to make when implementing a system like this. Many developers assume that they should store the data in readable format so they develop a perimeter around the data that allows only the right people to get to the data. The perimeter defence does not always work. Firewalls have failed time and again to keep attackers out of the system. So the best solution is to go for encryption from the beginning before the data leaves the mobile device. If you scramble the data before it leaves the mobile, the central computer will never have access to the information and it will protect it from leaking.