Indeed, security will not be the first thing that customers consider when shopping for smartphones. Of course, most of us care about other things like design, price, usability, storage, and more when purchasing smartphones. However, several customers have started to put more focus on the security of devices too.
This is mainly because most smartphone users have large amounts of personal information and sensitive data on their devices. The operating system you are selecting will surely have a major impact on the security of your device. This has urged several customers to opt for iOS devices instead of Android smartphones.
However, several new users to the world of mobile app security often ask what makes iOS applications more secure than others. If you are wondering the same, then here is a comprehensive guide on what Apple does to ensure better security of their mobile apps.
Are our iOS Apps More Secure Than Android Apps?
There is no denying the fact that mobile apps have become an integral part of our everyday life. Android applications do have essential security protocols in place, but iOS apps win when it comes to security. This is mainly because iOS applications are capable of mitigating the risk of security harm and data leakage.
Some of the features that make iOS applications more secure when compared to others are discussed here.
Data Protection API
Data Protection API serves the crucial purpose of securing application files and preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing the files. In addition, data protection features will be automatically enabled when mobile users set passcodes for their smartphones.
The process that goes behind data protection is hardware accelerated and automatic. iOS app users will be able to edit and read files normally as they would do, but most of them are not aware of the process of encryption and decryption that happens.
There are four different levels of data protection, and they are called complete, complete unless open, complete until the first authorization, and no protection. iOS will automatically select the default security level for users who do not choose any of the above-listed protection levels.
More checkout Did Apple patch the iOS Security Bugs?
Apple App Sandbox
Most of you would probably be aware that apps are an integral part of the security architecture of smart apps. Along with offering numerous benefits to users, mobile apps can affect the security of your system. Mobile apps might even compromise user data and device security if they are not handled properly.
This is why Apple users should download apps only from the Apple App Store. It is important to remember that anyone can create iOS apps, but only the ones that comply with the App Store guidelines will be available on the Apple Store.
Another interesting thing to note is that all iOS applications run in a directory called sandbox, which is used for data storage. Sandboxing enables Apple to eliminate the chance of data breaches, as iOS apps will be able to use only the data stored in the home directory.
Suppose a hacker or cybercriminals tries to exploit the security vulnerabilities in the application. In that case, a defensive mechanism will be initiated by the sandbox limiting the app’s access to hardware, network resources, preferences, and files.
Apple also launched a new feature named ATS or App Transport Security for blocking unsecured HTTP connections. This will, in turn, improve the security of the device.
App developers should also consider using a code signing certificate. This is mainly because code signing apps will help ensure users that the app comes from a known and verified source. In addition, you can easily find a cost-effective, cheap code signing certificate that suits your requirements with ease without overstretching your budget.
The keychain can be described as a safe and secure space used to store data within an encrypted database. Each iOS app will be given its own space within the keychain, which means that no other iOS application will be able to access the space.
The keychain feature will surely benefit individuals who have to manage multiple online accounts for either business or personal uses. It is best to use separate unique passwords for each account, making it incredibly hard for hackers to guess the password.
The keychain feature also offers iOS users a mechanism to store their passwords and other data effectively. For instance, you can save anything from short notes to credit card details without any worries.
Another excellent feature called CloudKit allows developers to store sensitive and confidential data in the iCloud by using their Apple ID. CloudKit is a framework, which allows app developers to store structured and key-value data in iCloud.
CloudKit offers support for both private and public databases, and it makes use of account-based keys for protecting the data stored in the private database. The stored files will be encrypted to prevent the chances of data leaks or data breaches.
Another interesting thing about iOS apps is that they use verified signatures. This means that you will need a public or private key pair before sending a message. The signature will be sent with the receiver’s actual data and using the public key for signature validation.
Highly Secure Authentication
The authentication feature of iOS is well-known, and it is something that will offer higher security to users. Some of the features introduced by Apple to the world of smartphones include eye recognition, face recognition, and fingerprint authentication.
Encrypted Data Transfer
iOS7 introduced the airdrop, which allowed users to share files with one single tap. The shared files will be encrypted, but you will appear visible only to your contact list by default, but you can make changes easily.
Apple provides multiple security features to users, and they do not release their source code. This is why IOS operating systems and apps are considered a lot more secure when compared to Android. However, this doesn’t mean that iOS apps or devices cannot be hacked.