Mobile App Development Risk Management: Top 5 Risks to Avoid

Mobile app development is an integral way for many entrepreneurs, small businesses, or enterprise companies to acquire new customers and satisfy their existing clientele. Mobile applications serve many objectives and provide tremendous value for an organization to help its users. Whether they use a mobile app to manage their account, utilize services, or maintain customer support, mobile applications continue to become a growing industry and a necessity for many businesses to satisfy their audience. 

By 2021, mobile app downloads will reach nearly 258 billion, a shocking 45% increase from 2017. The industry is expected to generate more than $156 billion in consumer app spending by 2022, and mobile usage has taken over as the dominant source of media consumption. In fact, users spend 70% of their time consuming digital media on mobile applications!

As many organizations rush to develop a suitable mobile application for their business, it’s vital to prioritize risk management and security. 43% of organizations neglected their mobile security in 2019, which increases the risks of malicious attacks. Hackers can employ various tactics to profit from susceptible applications, including malware attacks, intercepting sensitive data, ransomware, and accessing credentials. 

Mobile banking and financial apps are especially vulnerable, and Guardsquare exposed that more than 50% of the top financial apps on the Android Marketplace lack adequate mobile application security. Learn more about risk management, why it’s essential, and the top 5 security risks to address during mobile app development. 

What is Risk Management?

Risk management involves identifying all potential threats to a mobile application and implementing a protocol to protect user data, prevent attacks, and meet compliance. IT security professionals must run extensive application security tests to avoid threats and reduce risks from occurring. More importantly, they must also plan measures if an attack does occur to resolve the situation and mitigate damage swiftly. 

Why Is Risk Management Important?

Mobile app security is essential because if a user provides their confidential information to a company, they are liable for damages if hackers access their information. The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, and personal data was involved in more than 58% of breaches

Hackers are hard at work trying to figure out how to find and expose unsecured mobile apps, and they have a variety of tactics to expose any weakness. As soon as one tactic fails, they quickly pivot and find new ways to wreak havoc. Common attacks include: 

  • Ransomware 
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • DDoS Attacks
  • Remote Access Trojans (RATs)
  • Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) Attacks

Cybersecurity experts can use mobile app testing to reduce risks and identify vulnerabilities. Penetration tests are also instrumental in testing known vulnerabilities and imitating potential attacks to strategize a strong defense.  

Top 5 Risks Associated With Mobile App Development

If you are in the mobile app development process, it is best to address the following risks before launching your application. Many companies may rush a launch date. They can quickly run into numerous problems that will lead to dissatisfied customers, poor reviews, and a significant hit to their reputation. Ensure you are in good shape and prepare for potential risks before they become a major issue. 


1. Server-Side Vulnerabilities

A server is like a middleman between a user and a mobile application. The server stores, processes, and authenticates personal and transactional data. Hackers can expose your mobile app by attacking the server directly. Hackers can leverage injection flaws and implant malicious code to access database records or change the contents within the database. 

Cybersecurity professionals can utilize black and grey box penetration tests to reveal potential server-side vulnerables, so they can deploy layers of secure protocols to prevent attacks. 

2. Choosing the Wrong Development Partner

Since most businesses do not have the budget or internal resources to develop a mobile app internally, they must rely on a development partner to execute their project. Many businesses can fall into a vicious trap where they commit to a development partner only to run into a litany of issues. 

Many dev shops will use their technical knowledge to mislead their partners for financial gain. An original quote can inflate with additional development costs, and once a company is committed to a project, it’s hard to get out without taking a significant loss. Also, many companies promise a sufficient development team, including business analysts, project managers, front-end and back-end developers, and more, only to provide lackluster, outsourced support. Although this strategy is profitable for the dev shop, the client ends up with a poor mobile application with an expensive price tag. 

Codesmith has a different approach. We assign an entire team to each mobile app project to improve quality, efficiency and cut down costs. We will provide you with an entire project roadmap upfront to provide an accurate quote for your project. When you work with us, you don’t just get developers by your side. To ensure smooth execution, your team will include a business analyst, dev analyst, QA engineer, and project manager. 

Our network of top mobile app developers across the country has afforded the luxury of assigning developers that align with your industry and platform. We also provide IT staffing for enterprise and small businesses to support their development needs, but our digital marketing team truly sets us apart. To successfully launch an app, we deliver our clients marketing support to ensure they reached their target audience. Our marketing team works in tandem with our developers to understand the ins and outs of the mobile app to strategize an effective marketing plan. 

Choose the right development partner. Choose Codesmith.  

3. Data Storage and Leakage

Mobile apps must collect user data, and they are obligated to protect it. Since subscribers often must give credit card and personal information, companies must invest in secure data storage to prevent hackers from jailbreaking devices and frameworks. If hackers manage to access data systems, they can cause considerable damage, and your organization will be left with reputation and monetary consequences. 

Developers may also leave sensitive information in insecure locations resulting in data leakage. To protect users, developers must secure common leakage points such as URL caching, buffer cache, and data analytics shared with third-party partners. 

4. Unsecured WiFi

Hackers can expose mobile applications using public WiFi networks. Cybercriminals can even set up fake WiFi networks and reel in users using public hotspots. They can use man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks and read and modify data between users and the server. 

Many public WiFi networks may have outdated encryption protocols, which further increases the risk of attack. Requiring a VPN to access company systems and files will help secure session activity on your mobile application. 

5. Cryptography Issues

Mobile cryptography is a system of data checks and validations for applications to operate securely. Broken cryptography can lead to numerous mobile vulnerabilities. If developers choose to take shortcuts or lack proper experience, they may not correctly set cryptographic implementations, exposing sensitive data. 

Cryptographic protocols and algorithms commonly change, and outdated standards can leave your mobile app exposed. Follow NIST guidelines to implement the latest cryptography algorithms for your mobile app. Also, make sure you invest in cybersecurity and run frequent mobile app security tests to ensure you are in good shape. 

Smart Apps Built… Smartly

We aren’t all developers, but we all have great ideas. If you have a vision, you have a mission. Please fill out our mobile app questionnaire, and our team will provide a free app consultation and go-to-market strategy for your app. We rigorously test and retest and test some more all of our mobile apps. Once it’s created, we’ll make sure to provide additional maintenance support and set up security so you are prepared for even the most formidable attacks. If you’d like to learn more about mobile applications, check out some of our other blog content on how to increase mobile app installs and the top enterprise application development challenges.