5 Security Measures You Need To Know to Ensure the Security of Your Game App
The original article is submitted by Maria Antony. Maria works for Gamentio, a game company.
The game industry is constantly evolving and growing on a rapid scale by each passing day. A significant part of this industry is mobile gaming. With huge advancements in mobile device technologies, gaming apps are on a high demand and so is their supply. One of the major reason behind this are the developers who are splurging millions of dollars in their time to market strategies. In all of this, the security of gaming apps takes a backseat, overlooked by developers in a haste a to launch their product before their respective competitors.
Many gaming apps like Rummy and mobile apps are facing an increasing number of security breaches and hacking attacks. Those who have faced it are trying to recover from the huge losses and secure their damaged systems. While many new and old developers who have not faced such situation yet don't take the security of their game apps seriously. What they don’t realize is that a penny spent today will save their millions tomorrow.
Hackers stay a step ahead
For example, let’s take a look at the case of Monument Valley game app, a paid ($ 3.99) game app on iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle. Developers of the game claim that Monument Valley was installed on 10 million devices but in actual, they sold only 2.5 million copies of the app - only 5% on Android and 40% on iOS. Hence, 2.5 million sales accounted for $5.8 million and the rest all lost! [Source
Need for a secure gaming app
With attacks on gaming systems as well as mobile gaming apps, there is an urgent need of keeping a tab on securing every feature and gateway which can be hacked or breached by the hackers. Developers need to keep their apps from being hacked which ultimately results in huge losses in terms of revenue and the hard-earned money of the company as well as the customers.
Security measure #1: Secure the code
Often developers do not realize that mobile malware causes vulnerabilities and bugs in the infrastructure and design of the application. A recent reported by Infosecurity shows that more than 11.6 million mobiles are being infected by a malicious code at any given time, and this number is likely to increase up to twenty times in the coming future.
Developers should detect and eliminate security vulnerabilities in the code and immune their applications against reverse engineering such that no duplicate and malicious applications could be launched in the market.
Security measure #2: Secure the device
Sometimes, depend on the application architecture, we rely on the security of the underlying device. Developers need to devise methods to check the security of the device. The primary thing to check in the mobile operating systems is whether mobile app sandbox intact or not. Rooted devices pose a great threat as jailbreaking may break the underlying security model of the device.
Although excessive permissions given to mobile applications can give malware access to basic services like contacts, SMS, which could then be used for fraudulent activities by the hackers. Secure channels and services may be devised to track the associated risks attached with each of the application as and when they are added to the store.
Security measure #3: Secure the gateways
A small flaw in the in-app purchase system can sink your millions down the drain. Look out for these critical points and use intrusion detection, installed on the perimeter in front of application backend, and obfuscation techniques to make it harder for the hackers to control the system. This move will not only save you money but also give you time to secure your system. Please be aware though obfuscated code can be broken by automated tools. It’s much more better to use proper application architecture and clean programming. Obfuscation follows "security by obscurity" approach which is not the best way how to implement security.
Security measure #4: Secure the application
If we are looking for almost bulletproof security protection, we should think holistically about security. It is not only about each application installation on the mobile device but also the backend API. We should consider the data being stored on the device and how we protect data-in-motion, the data that flows between the mobile app and the application backend.
Mobile app operators should know about every single installation of the app with proper identification and deactivate this instance when they detect suspicious behaviors. Game APIs access should be denied for unauthorized parties. Every long-term access token should be protected by a user PIN. Web management of the application should identify every connected device to immediately deactivate the application installation on that particular device. A user session should be protected by two-factor authentication. All mentioned security measures should be strong and follow by-the-book implementation of PKI and certificate validation.
If you, as a developer, did everything well, there is no need for obfuscation techniques. There will be simply nothing that can be attacked.
Security measure #5: Specialist review
Get a specialist team to review your game app and all the security gateways such that there’s no loophole left when you launch the app on the app stores. Frequently updates and checks will help the system become more strong hacking proof.
Security of the gaming apps is indeed a matter of great concern. Surprisingly, after a few attacks on the big players in the market, many enterprises and developers are coming forward to maximize the level of security barriers in their applications.
About Maria Antony
Maria Antony is a digital marketer at Gamentio. She specializes in SEO, content marketing & conversion rate optimization. Maria is a computer engineer by education. She is passionate about gaming, and she loves to write and read about innovative game technologies.
If you’d like to get a true assessment of the security of your mobile gaming application and its backend, please check out our Mobile App Security Audit service. Alternatively, request a FREE Demo to know how we can assist you with the security of your mobile gaming solutions.
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