How to Build Secure Mobile Applications for Fintech

Liudmyla Dereshivska
Marketing manager

May 11, 2018

A financial sphere is one of the most fragile to penetration business areas as it deals with users’ sensitive information. Since finance services transformed into Fintech, it became even more disposed to invasions. The problem is especially acute for mobile versions of Fintech products, according to Avast’s research, last year mobile cyber attacks increased by 40%. Such a situation forced Fintech owners to change the approach and implement more strict security measures. But we believe that good security starts at the initial stages, before the development.

What Does It Take To Make A Secure FinTech App?

What Does It Take To Make A Secure FinTech App?

If you think about or already have a Fintech project, security is your top priority. As a service provider, you take a responsibility to proceed and protect the information of your customers. You may not know the technical side of app security, but have to understand the security requirements the product should meet.

Ideally is to hire specialized stuff – security officers, who will be responsible for maintaining security-related questions on the project. Their job is to consider the security structure and ensure its integration. But frequently, for financial or other reasons, founders neglect to hire additional workers. And the responsibility for security lays on the management and developers team. Therefore, we want to concentrate on primary aspects of building secure FinTech app.

To build a secure app, you must understand the ways damage can be caused. Product Manager at Avast Software, Filip Chytry highlights three potential levels external parties can hack into applications with the intention to cause serious harm.

It can be done:

• On the device. For external users, it is easier to approach sensitive data via a poorly written app.
• In the cloud or on the server. Frequently, servers can be not fully vetted against security flaws. So, not only app but unauthorized users can access the back-end APIs.
• In transit. App constantly communicates with other systems while operating, it can be sending payment requests to the bank etc. Such connection can be the perfect target for an interception.

fintech app

Steps to take to maintain security, through all the stages of app development:

1. When creating a secure FinTech application, the first concern is to ensure the safe environment. Make sure that all parties involved in the development can provide a protected workplace. A good idea would be establishing some security policy for all operation participants.

2. Decide whether to go with custom or off-the-shelf solutions. Since off-the-shelf apps are based on certain templates, the level of security can never compare to the custom-developed apps. Building your FinTech app from scratch can ensure that you get what you want.

3. Determine the application architecture of the project. Include preferred components, but don’t hesitate to communicate with developers team on this topic. They can make some propositions and suggestions concerning potential weak points and other things you may not familiar with.

4. Define data protection for the project. Beforehand, determine what are the most sensitive data app will deal with. Also, you need to have control over important functions, like managing access to the data, encryption the information, device inventory control. An important point to mention is a secure connection. The main communication takes place between the app and the server, therefore, this channel requires higher safety measures. Since FinTech app frequently performers payments, this area deserves the intensified attention. To protect the payment process, you can integrate external payment systems. In our app development, we use systems like Stripe and PayPal as they adherence high-security standards and can ensure safe transactions. Thereby our app does not directly interact with user bank details and cannot be the source of data leakage.

5. Align with security compliance regulations. Frequently, FinTech apps unite with banks or other financial institution. Such cooperation is an indicator of a secure and trustworthy application. Also, a good idea is to check Standards for Security Management and make sure your developers’ team is familiar with those rules as well.

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