One of the biggest development trends coming down the pike in 2017 is encryption for mobile applications. As we recently wrote, major messaging apps are moving towards making end-to-end encryption default for their users – and with good reason. As the public moves to embrace smart technologies, like cloud storage and fingerprint authentication, security has become a major concern. High profile hacks, like the one Yahoo revealed late last year, as well as alleged attacks by Russian-based hackers, have made people and companies question how their data is secured. For companies developing enterprise-scale mobile solutions, this means implementing encryption to protect their data.
What Encryption Offers
First, let’s identify the key benefits offered by encryption for enterprise customers:
- Safeguard clients’ and employees’ personal information
- Protect sensitive financial transactions and intellectual property
- Provide secure communication between clients and companies
In some industries, secure financial transactions and communications form the backbone of their entire service. Venmo, a peer-to-peer payment app we’ve discussed before, depends on its users’ trust in secure banking transactions. Its users must trust that their information is being secured against malicious hackers or scammers. Encryption is an excellent way to provide that protection.
Implementing Software Security
One of the most common encryption in use today is known as Secure Socket Layers, or SSL encryption. On certain websites that require you to log in with credentials, you’ll notice a green padlock icon in your web browser’s URL bar. This means that the site you’re on has a valid SSL certificate, and therefore data sent between you and the website is being exchanged securely. This system uses what’s known as public and private keys exchanged between two parties to authenticate both participants’ identities. Without these keys, the data exchanged over the secure connection cannot be decrypted.
In a practical example, let’s say you would like to store a list of all your users’ transactions on their devices. But these transactions contain dollar amounts, account numbers, and routing numbers. Storing this information as a plain text document in something like a spreadsheet or CSV file is risky. Anyone who accesses the file can simply copy the file and read it, and that means hackers too. A system implemented like this can become a huge liability. PlayStation manufacturer Sony learned this lesson the hard way.
Customers of the PlayStation Network had their information (including e-mail addresses, account passwords, and billing information) compromised by hackers. After penetrating the network, the hackers simply copied the data and mined it for users’ data. Besides the monetary damage done to customers, the incident was a tremendous PR disaster for Sony, who struggled to regain consumer confidence in their services. Because Sony did not utilize encryption for their data, they are now part of a cautionary tale about cyber security.
With a properly deployed encryption solution, even if malicious parties penetrate a device or network through other means, the information remains safe. The data will be rendered useless because hackers won’t have the key to decrypt the data. And with enterprise-scale software, keeping that data secure can mean the difference between a profitable quarter and a disastrous one.
Encryption is the Future
When it comes to designing and deploying enterprise software, you cannot overlook the security of your data. As technology moves forward, hackers are becoming more ingenious and resourceful. Enterprise security has become a digital arms race, and your company cannot afford to be left behind. The stakes are simply too high.
As a proven industry leader in enterprise software development, we’ve maintained a track record of utilizing cutting edge encryption technologies in our projects. We’ve created secure enterprise apps for Fortune 100 companies and startups alike. If you’re considering a scalable software solution for your company, consult our experts today and find out why we’re regarded as an industry leader in secure mobile app development.