Cryptography for Mobile App Security: 5 Ways
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Use Secure Hash Algorithms
  2. Implement Data Encryption Standards
  3. Apply Advanced Encryption Standards
  4. Establish Secure Coding Practices
  5. Integrate Public Key Infrastructure

Mobile apps are everywhere these days, and with their popularity comes the need for serious security measures. One of the key players in this digital protection game is cryptography. In the realm of mobile app security, cryptography serves as a trusted guard, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of data. So, if you're looking to boost the security of your mobile application, here are five ways you can use cryptography to achieve just that.

Use Secure Hash Algorithms

The journey of enhancing the security of your mobile app with cryptography begins with using Secure Hash Algorithms (SHA). SHA is like the secret handshake in the world of mobile app security—only those who know it can gain access. Let's break down why it is so important.

What is SHA?

SHA is a group of cryptographic hash functions designed by the National Security Agency (NSA). These functions take an input (or 'message') and return a fixed-size string of bytes. The output, typically rendered as a text string, is a 'digest' that is unique to each unique input. Even a small change in the input will produce such a drastic change in output that the new digest will appear uncorrelated with the old one.

Why Use SHA?

  • Integrity: With SHA, you can check the integrity of data. If even a single bit of your data changes, the hash value will change, letting you know something's up.
  • Authenticity: SHA also confirms the authenticity of data. The hash value verifies that the data has come from the intended sender and hasn't been tampered with.
  • Non-repudiation: Finally, SHA provides non-repudiation. This means the sender of data cannot deny their intentions in the transmission and delivery of the information provided.

So, by integrating SHA into your mobile app, you're taking a big step towards enhancing your app's security. After all, in terms of cryptography in mobile app security, it's not just about keeping data safe—it's about keeping it real and trustworthy too.

Implement Data Encryption Standards

Next stop on the cryptography in mobile app security train: Data Encryption Standards (DES). DES is like the bouncer at a club, it decides who gets in and who doesn't. But how does it do this? Let's find out.

What is DES?

DES is a symmetric-key algorithm for the encryption of digital data. Although now considered to be 'old-hat' due to the rise of Advanced Encryption Standards (AES), DES still holds a place in certain lower-risk scenarios. This method uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data, hence the term 'symmetric'.

Why Use DES?

  • Security: The main reason to use DES is to protect your data. DES encrypts your data in a way that it can only be decrypted with the correct key.
  • Compatibility: DES has been around for a long time, and many older systems still work best with it. So, in some cases, DES might be your best bet for a smooth operation.

While DES may not be the latest and greatest in encryption, it's still worth considering for certain applications. However, if you're dealing with particularly sensitive data, you might want to consider the next step up: Advanced Encryption Standards (AES). But we'll get to that later. For now, just remember that DES still has a role to play in the world of cryptography in mobile app security.

Apply Advanced Encryption Standards

All aboard the cryptography in mobile app security express! Our next stop: Advanced Encryption Standards (AES). DES's more robust cousin, AES takes encryption to the next level.

Understanding AES

AES is a symmetric encryption algorithm, just like DES. But it's a little bit like DES on a healthy diet of spinach and protein shakes. It's stronger, faster, and harder to crack. Why is that? Because AES uses longer key lengths—128, 192, or 256 bits, to be exact. That's a lot more combinations to try, making AES a tough nut for cyber attackers to crack.

Applying AES in your App

Now that you have a grasp of what AES is, let's discuss how to apply it in your mobile app:

  • Use AES for sensitive data: Any data that, if leaked, could harm your users or your business should be encrypted with AES. This includes things like credit card information, social security numbers, or trade secrets.
  • Choose the right key length: The longer the key, the more secure the encryption. However, longer keys also require more processing power. You need to balance security and performance to choose the right key length for your app.

So, there you have it. AES is a powerful tool in the world of cryptography in mobile app security. It's like the secret sauce that adds an extra layer of protection to your app. But remember, like any tool, it's only as good as the person using it. So make sure you understand how it works and use it wisely.

Establish Secure Coding Practices

Next up on our cryptography in mobile app security journey is a little bit of a detour. We're stepping away from the world of algorithms and ciphers, and moving into the realm of coding. Because let's face it, even the best encryption in the world won't do you much good if your code is as leaky as a sieve.

What are Secure Coding Practices?

Secure coding practices are a bit like the building codes for your app. They are guidelines and principles that help you write code that is robust against attacks. From input validation to error handling, these practices cover a wide range of topics.

Implementing Secure Coding Practices

Now you might be wondering, how can you implement these practices in your app? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Train your team: Secure coding starts with the coder. Make sure your team is well-versed in the principles of secure coding.
  • Use security-focused tools: There are plenty of tools out there that can help you write more secure code. From static code analyzers to vulnerability scanners, these tools can be a big help.

So there you have it. Secure coding might not be a fancy algorithm or a cool cipher, but it's a vital part of cryptography in mobile app security. It's like the strong foundation that supports your app and keeps it safe from the storms of cyber attacks. So don't skimp on it!

Integrate Public Key Infrastructure

Remember how we talked about secure coding practices? Well, prepare to take another step on our cryptography in mobile app security journey. Now, we're going to explore the world of Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI for short.

What is Public Key Infrastructure?

Imagine you have a secret message you want to send to a friend. But how can you ensure that no one else reads it? This is where Public Key Infrastructure comes in. PKI uses a pair of keys - a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption - to secure communication.

How to Integrate PKI in Mobile Apps

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. How can you integrate PKI into your mobile app? Here are some ideas:

  • Create a PKI system: The first step is to create a PKI system. This includes generating key pairs, setting up a certificate authority, and establishing a secure method for key distribution.
  • Use SSL/TLS for secure communication: SSL and TLS are protocols that use PKI to secure communication between your app and the server.

And there you have it. Integrating Public Key Infrastructure is a key part of cryptography in mobile app security. It's like having a secret handshake that only you and your friend know. So don't overlook it, it's an important step in securing your app!

If you want to dive deeper into the world of cryptography and its applications in mobile app security, we highly recommend the workshop 'Crypto For Creators, Part 1: The Backbone Of The Digital Economy' by Tom Glendinning. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and knowledge to enhance your understanding of cryptography and its role in securing mobile apps and the digital economy as a whole.