Secure WebRTC Mobile App Development: Protecting User Privacy

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WebRTC Mobile App Development

Mobile apps are part of our routine lives. They help us stay connected with our colleagues, clients, and even family and friends. In the past few years, the mobile app market has grown dramatically. According to Straits Research, in 2021, the global market size of mobile apps was worth 197.2 billion US dollars. Moreover, it is expected to reach a value of 583.03 billion US dollars by 2030. This will have a growth rate of 12.80% CAGR. This has encouraged several other technologies to join hands with mobile app development frameworks and companies to build consolidated apps. WebRTC mobile app development is one of the hybrid areas of building smartphone apps, in which VoIP and mobile app platforms are amalgamated.

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In this blog post, we will learn more about this trend of building WebRTC driven mobile apps and how they are taking the world by storm. We will also discuss the major privacy concerns related to WebRTC implementation in communication apps. Furthermore, this blog post will guide you in building a more protected app.

So, let’s delve deeper into this interesting and trending discussion to leverage it in your favor.

1. WebRTC at Brief

Overview of WebRTC

It is part of the popular open-source VoIP technology family. This technology helps development companies in building peer-to-peer communication applications and solutions. A WebRTC development company can build a real-time communication and collaboration app using this technology.

The beauty of WebRTC is that it is a browser-based technology, which means it does not need any added effort. It indicates that users can use real-time communication solutions from the convenience of their web browser. This can be a laptop or desktop browser or even a mobile browser. It does not need any added installation, configurations, or add-ons to provide communication features. This simplifies communication means for users as anyone can connect by simply accessing a web URL.

WebRTC’s popularity has encouraged several innovators to look for ways of using this powerful communication technology to build reliable tools. As a result, now, we can also use conferencing features. In addition to that, we can implement WebRTC features in any other apps using WebRTC SIP.js development.

SIP.js development has several amazing applications for building powerful and engaging communication apps. If you are interested in learning more about SIP.JS and WebRTC, then we have an interesting blog post. Read Key Features of SIP.js for WebRTC Application Development. This blog post covers major features you can implement in your app with WebRTC SIP.js development.

2. Defining WebRTC Mobile Application Development

As businesses prefer using smartphone apps, now, companies have also invented mobile app development with added features of WebRTC, including, but not limited to:

  • Voice call
  • Video call
  • Instant messaging (Chat)
  • File share
  • Rich communication features
  • Last call redial
  • Call logging
  • And more

In simple words, this app is a normal mobile app that will have real-time communication features. WebRTC technology plays a role in adding these communication features to the mobile app. Moreover, it uses browser calling or SIP calling features, which lowers communication expenses. This and several other amazing advantages of using WebRTC to add communication features, the popularity of WebRTC based mobile application development is gaining a lot of popularity.

3. Major Privacy and Security Concerns in WebRTC

Privacy and Security in WebRTC

Security concerns are real in any technology tool. Especially, when a user uses the internet for calling, privacy and security risks increase like anything. Any kind of tampering with communication lines or interception of calls for stealing data or information can have a severe impact on a business. Even if a communication application is used for recreation by the end user, compromising private information is the last thing anyone would like.

There are several security threats and privacy concerns related to the development of WebRTC based mobile apps. However, there are some severe privacy concerns, that you must know. Whether you are going to use this app or going to invest in WebRTC mobile app development to build a commercial app, you must learn about major challenges and risks.

  • Stealing Private Information

Mobile apps will have user accounts for all customers or executives using this app. Therefore, all mobile apps will have information about users. Depending on the app type, this can be basic information or more sensitive information. In a majority of mobile apps, the contact books are synced with the app. Thus, it will have all contact details even if it might not have payment details. Any kind of hack attack is catastrophic for a business using this app.

  • Live Call Interception

WebRTC solution development builds communication apps. Even if it is used for adding calling features in a mobile app, it will use SIP technology for calling. As a result, all calls go through internet lines. It is easy for seasoned hackers to intercept these lines to overhear conversations and steal information. This can cause severe business concerns because many calls include business-related information. For example, patterns, quotations, payment details, etc. are discussed during business calls. Unauthorized access to this information can cause severe harm.

  • Importance of Protecting Private Information

Keeping private information confidential is necessary for all types of users, especially for business users. They often discuss sensitive business information over the call and may also have stored it in the app. This increases the risks for business users. Furthermore, it increases the need to keep this information protected from all types of threats.

4. Best Practices for Building WebRTC Based Mobile App

WebRTC Based Mobile App

A WebRTC development company will have multiple techniques to add a layer of security to keep private information protected. Henceforth, information stored in the app and discussed over a real-time call is protected from attacks and deceitful use.

If you are new in this industry and learning the ways to keep private information secured, then here are the top three best practices that you must follow. These best practices help in keeping your app’s information protected and confidential.

  • Authentication and Authorization

This is the most common way of keeping your mobile apps or web apps protected from external attacks. Even after that, developers ignore this fundamental practice of implementing security.

The app must not permit to access features or information without authorization. To use app features like real-time calling, all users have to sign up for the app. Moreover, they have to access the app with a secure password only. All app developers must implement the best practices for passwords, too. This implies enforcement of using strong passwords made up of small and capital letters, numbers, special characters, etc.

An admin of a business app should also grant access to necessary features only. Every user might not need all features and therefore, all of them should not get all feature access.

One more option for keeping user accounts protected is using multi-factor authentication. We are all aware of two-way authentication, which asks for credentials and OTP sent to the SMS. For added security, businesses also provide multiple other options to keep user accounts protected from unauthorized access.

  • Secure Signaling

WebRTC is one of the most secure technologies. However, amalgamation of WebRTC with other technologies can create security concerns. For example, WebRTC does not have any built-in signaling mechanism. To establish calls and conduct communication sessions, it uses browser technology. However, mobile apps using WebRTC for communication need to use different signaling mechanisms for diverse jobs. Third-party signaling may have weaknesses, which can result in security concerns. This increases the need to use secure signaling for data and call exchange.

WebSockets is one of the popular technologies to introduce added security into signaling mechanisms. It is a popular protocol, which can exchange data from server to client or client to server. It constantly shows information on the client side through the open connection. WebRTC solution development uses this phenomenon to secure signaling. WebRTC itself does not use WebSockets, but it is an added layer added by WebRTC developers to add secure signaling.

  • Secure Media Transmission

WebRTC is one of the safest communication technologies. It has a set of protocols that are useful in securing mobile apps to protect user information and privacy. SRTP, DTLS, TURN, SCTP, STUN, PFS, etc. are some of the popular protocols available in the WebRTC apps. Developers can use some of these protocols to safeguard their WebRTC based mobile apps.

SRTP is an acronym for Secure Real-time Transport Protocol. As the name suggests, it secures audio and video streams while transmitting calls and data from one end to another. It encrypts calls so that even if they are intercepted, it gets harder to decode the information in them. It provides message authentication, as well as confidentiality and replay protection. All these amazing characteristics make it perfect to use for safeguarding data exchanged through real-time calls.

Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) is another vital method that developers can implement in WebRTC mobile app programming. It is an added layer of encryption. In the WebRTC based app, we will utilize SIP.js along with SRTP and other mechanisms to encrypt data and signals, ensuring secure real-time calls. PFS will further encrypt the keys related to encryption and decryption. This provides an added layer of security.

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5. Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do WebRTC Based Mobile Apps Gain Popularity?
  • Communication is a basic feature required by all types of users. WebRTC is a secure communication technology that supports real-time communication. Of course, privacy concerns due to common security risks are there. However, those are easily overpowered by expert WebRTC developers. This opens the opportunity to add real-time communication features to the mobile apps. This augments user experience because, within their business or recreation apps, they get cheap communication features. Due to this and several other features, WebRTC based mobile apps are gaining a lot of popularity.
Q. With Which Mobile App Development Technologies can WebRTC be Used?
  • WebRTC is a versatile technology that is available for adding real-time communication features in the mobile app. As it does not conflict with mobile app development technologies, it is available to use with any native or cross-platform mobile app development technologies like Flutter, React Native, Ionic, Android, iOS, Xamarin, PhoneGap, and more.
Q. Can We add WebRTC Calling Features to an Existing Mobile App?
  • Yes, one can add WebRTC calling features to an existing mobile app. Moreover, one can also add other WebRTC based communication features to an already existing mobile app. However, the existing app’s code has to be flexible for making changes to it. Your WebRTC mobile app programming company can audit your existing app and based on the audit they will suggest the feasibility.
Q. What is the Cost of Building a WebRTC Based Mobile App?
  • The cost of development depends on several factors like features of the app, WebRTC features that need to be added, and more. Your development company can give you a development estimation after discussing the detailed scope of the work.
Q. What are the Utilities of the WebRTC Mobile App?
  • The role of WebRTC is to provide cheap communication features within a mobile app. Therefore, you can define the endless utilities of this app. It has a utility in gaming apps, business apps, entertainment apps, social media apps, and more.

6. Concluding Notes

In conclusion, WebRTC is empowering the mobile app development industry with its real-time communication features. Adding WebRTC features in the mobile apps augments user experience. This not only simplifies using business apps by adding a much-needed real-time communication feature, but it also adds several other benefits. Similarly, it has a large market in the consumer market. As WebRTC transmits data and signals over internet lines, it is necessary to be aware of major threats and risks. Moreover, it is necessary to apply the best practices in building this app.

If you are looking for a reliable WebRTC mobile app development partner, then we are here at your disposal. To discuss your project or requirements, contact us now.

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