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How to Secure Your Application

If you’re developing an application, one of your major concerns should be security. Security should always be integrated into your application from the beginning; otherwise you open yourself to a world of piracy concerns and a loss of user trust. Certain platforms, such as the Android platform, require more vigilant security than others.

Securing your application data

An application is just like any other program: programming it correctly is essential to its integrity. You should always validate the data being sent through your application and you should take steps to prevent SQL injection attacks. Anticipating the ways in which your application is likely to be breached is the only way that you can ensure its security. Encryption should also be used whenever transmitting data, to ensure that the data cannot be listened to even if the user is on an unsecured network.

Securing your web server

Server security is absolutely critical for those that are running web-based applications. Not only does the server need current SSL certificates, but there are some very basic areas in which developers often fail to secure their server properly. Your server itself needs to be protected with a secure password, and you should ensure that your application uses the appropriate file permissions. Further, any data that is validated on the client side needs to be validated on the server side as well, and your server should have some form of DOS protection.

Securing your application against piracy

The methods by which you secure your application against piracy strongly depends on the actual nature of your application. Web applications, as an example, are secured against piracy as long as your web server itself is not breached. Mobile applications and Facebook applications, should they tie into your web server, should be authenticated against your server; if authentication against your server fails, the application should refuse to run or should run in a limited capacity.

Securing your application with SSL

SSL is absolutely essential for the security of applications. SSL can both protect the data that is sent between the application and the server and can be used to authenticate the application itself. SSL pinning will ensure that the SSL certificate that is registered with your application is always identical to your certificate. Using SSL is fairly simple and will greatly increase the security of any application; the only challenge is that you will need to plan for the eventual expiration of the certificate and will need to release an update in a timely fashion so that your users don’t experience any loss of functionality.

Selecting the right SSL certificate

Which Thawte SSL certificate is right for you? There are two different types of SSL certificate that you’re likely interested in: an SSL certificate and a code signing certificate. An SSL certificate will act as an authentication for the application and website itself while the code signing certificate will ensure that the application has not been modified. You can find out more about code signing certificates here.

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