Don’t let your mobile experience undercut your mobile security

By Jonathan Crowl

Mobile development is a constant balance of risk and reward. In the quest to build the best mobile experience possible for users, many enterprises encounter challenges and limitations related to their security. As TechTarget points out, these types of mobile data risks can be the “undoing” of many app creation journeys.

Furthermore, security challenges are a direct threat to a brand’s consumer base and its relationship with that audience. Consumer trust carries enormous clout in the digital realm, where competition is so steep that users often seem to be on the lookout for a better alternative. As such, security breaches can be a fatal blow to a mobile application. But a disappointing user experience can alienate customers even before an app’s security is put to the test. As a result, developers are caught in the middle of a balancing act. Thankfully, the solution to this paradox lies within the mobile architecture.

More endpoints mean more liability

Many of the challenges relate to the very nature of mobile technology, which has rapidly expanded the number of available endpoints for users to access a digital product. Each endpoint functions as its own liability, creating a portal through which breaches can occur. Instead of securing a single endpoint, such as a desktop application, security must now consider smartphones, tablets and other devices that consumers use to access a mobile property. In some cases, this is why brands are slow to release their mobile products onto new platforms and operating systems. After all, developers need time to ensure security.

On the other hand, limited availability hurts the user experience. When a popular app is available in only one operating system’s app marketplace, for example, users without access can feel alienated. Though most enterprises consider security a top priority, they still feel the pressure to get their products out as quickly as possible.

Navigating the waters of real-time data

Real-time data monitoring can be a great asset in optimizing the mobile experience for users, but brands can apply this oversight to data security as well. By doing so, they create an opportunity to target both security and UX at the same time, through more or less the same process.

Applying data security retroactively to an already existing product is likely to come with possible points of exposure. As such, real-time data security should be given as much time and focus as real-time data analysis and management. And this security focus should be adopted by everyone related to the mobile product’s development, not just developers. After all, UX specialists must understand that security breaches will tarnish any user experience, no matter how impressive.

The importance of keeping it simple

While all organizations want to build an ambitious, groundbreaking mobile application, it’s important to remember the risk that comes with this type of innovation. Being a trailblazer exposes you and your customers to new mobile security dangers. As such, a simple architecture has its advantages. After all, mobile design that tests developers’ limits will also test their ability to effectively secure their creation, and that makes a security breach all the more likely.

Customers also find simple designs and functionalities preferable, as overly sophisticated platforms may lead users to feel more frustrated than impressed. In this way, the potential payoff for shooting for the moon also comes with the risk of alienating a consumer base.

Mobile experience and security sometimes find themselves at odds with one another, but collaboration among departments can help bridge this disconnect and improve the overall product.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl


Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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