How small business owners can bolster their mobile security

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By Noah Rue

When you are a small business, a focus on cybersecurity is key. Hackers often target small companies on purpose because they know that owners of these organizations don’t always have the funds or know-how to manage their security. But you must not let cybersecurity go to the wayside, especially as mobile and smartphone apps become more popular.

If you are considering adding an app or transitioning your website to the mobile screen, data protection must be part of the equation. Let’s talk about the issue and how to secure your mobile interface both during and after its development.

The issue today

As a business owner, you likely understand the idea of cybersecurity and the importance of having antivirus software and a strong firewall to protect your business and the data of your customers. However, if you are creating or you have already implemented a mobile app, you must increase your awareness and your protection.

Doing so is important because cyber attacks on mobile devices are rampant. In fact, 25% of all mobile devices are subject to a hacking threat at least once per month. The threats can come from multiple sources, including malware/viruses, phishing scams, and buffering overflows, which is when an app tries to hold more data than it can handle and creates a vulnerability to hackers.

While some of these risks may be inevitable, if your company does nothing to protect your app and your customers, then your chance of a breach increases. If your company is found to be at fault for a cybercrime, you could be liable for damages and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. If your small business cannot withstand such penalties, then mobile security should be your number one priority.

Securing your app during development

It is always more effective to secure your business during development than to have to react to a data breach or cyber-attack after the fact, so think about that when designing your app. First, you should hire a professional programmer who will know how to write secure code so it is tough to break during development and after the app goes live. The code should also be encrypted so hackers cannot read and manipulate it even if they try.

Once you have your app near completion, but before it goes live, have it put through rigorous user testing. Essentially, this process has professional testers take the app through its paces to ensure that all functions work as they were designed and that the app never breaks down during use. To test the data security of the app, you can hire an ethical hacker to purposely try to hack in and if they can’t, then you know you are on the right track.

Since many hackers are after financial data, you should have the financial experts within your company play an active role in the app’s security. For instance, your Chief Accounting Officer is responsible for all aspects of your company’s finances, so they should always be keeping an eye on any unexpected losses. Ensuring that data is not lost due to vulnerabilities in your app should be one of their responsibilities, and by always keeping an eye on this portion of your finances, you can catch a data breach before it is too late.

Educate employees and customers

Once your app does go live, company management should make it a point to ensure that all staff members are aware of the potential threats so they can avoid becoming a victim. Something as simple as a phishing email can trick an employee into clicking an unsecured link that can allow a hacker into your network where they can then attack your app directly.

Employees and customers alike should protect their computers and mobile devices with smart passwords that are difficult to guess. Your company can help to protect your app and your clients by requiring that all customers create a detailed password that requires the inclusion of letters, numbers, and special characters so they can protect their data and your reputation.

Your app can also offer other helpful tips to customers who use your service, which will protect them while they are out and about. Things like reminding them to always use a secured Wi-Fi network when they access your mobile payment feature and to cancel their service immediately if the phone is ever stolen are a good start. Simple reminders can do wonders to keep customers and your business out of hot water.

In the end, new technology should never be developed without considering proper cybersecurity. Use the tips described above, and you will create a secure and successful mobile app.


Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.

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