How often do you think about the risk of malware? Viruses or adware can be annoying, but that’s usually as bad as it gets. For big businesses, the idea of ransomware is terrifying, and it costs companies across multiple industries many millions of dollars a year. For an app developer, the risks can be far worse. Corrupted data, unexpected downtime and the mistrust of your user base are concepts that might make you sweat a little. What’s most important is to remember that this isn’t an obscure problem that only happens to someone else. App infection is prolific, and it can cost more than you might expect.
It’s obvious that malware is bad. It’s in the name, after all. Still, there’s a difference between intuitively knowing that there could be a problem and facing some of the hardline loss potential of having your app infected. Let’s look at some of the specific risks that undetected malware could pose to your app.
If you’re lucky, the malware will do its thing while the app is under development and before it is distributed. The obvious risks are corrupted files and damage to your development process. If you maintain proper backups, this setback could only be a matter of hours, but in a worst-case scenario, a malware attack could tank an app project permanently.
Neither of these cases are the most dangerous. If you’re designing an app that has a large potential audience, there’s a good chance you’ve had to pour significant data into the development process. This could include personal information of kickstart supporters or access to enterprise systems that you have tied to your development process. It’s difficult to put hard numbers on how much harm could come from malware that accesses either of those groups. The one thing that is certain is that data security is of paramount importance.
If you aren’t so lucky, missed malware could sleep in your app until after it is distributed. There’s not a nice way to put it. Falling victim and massively distributing malicious software to users is almost always certain death for an app. It can also mean death for the team that developed the app, and sometimes even investors in the development process.
The most dangerous notion you might be floating right now is a thought that this won’t happen to you. Apple’s app store has stringent vetting and quality assurance. To date, more than 300 mainstream app developers have unwittingly proliferated malicious software through Apple’s store. For Android, that number is in the thousands.
Obviously, you want virus and malware support. Your own best practices will help, but having thorough scans of all of your files can’t hurt. The problem is that traditional, consumer-grade virus protection might not play well with your development process and API. There’s a good chance that your app can trigger heuristic warnings with many antivirus programs, and you’re adding headaches to your process instead of solutions. You want something a little more specific.
There are antivirus applications that are designed to work with developer APIs. Some of them can even be imbedded into the API you like. This gives them a distinct advantage. They can work alongside the workflow that you design. This can streamline virus scans and help the software differentiate between your commands and nefarious, hidden code that you want to eliminate.
When the antivirus software is fully integrated into your API, it becomes part of the development process. Instead of having to find ways to help the software get around your app in progress, the API assists you in creating pathways and functions for the antivirus to navigate. You can sandbox or isolate things as you see fit, and that gives you more freedom and control over how the antivirus impacts your process. Regardless, the API integration enables you to better trust the security software to do its job, on top of implementing secure file upload best practices.
The bottom line is this: virus protection is essential to app development. As a developer, you have the knowledge and experience to understand the risk and reward involved. You also know why a standard, run-of-the-mill antivirus won’t serve your needs. Filestack’s virus protection is customized to protect you from the exact threats that could shut down your application. Settling for anything else is an unnecessary risk. Avoid that risk and talk to a virus detection expert to get started today.
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