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How Apple Has Boosted the Security of iOS Applications

How Apple Has Boosted the Security of iOS Applications

Apple Inc., as we all know, follows a very strict policy when it comes to securing the data of the users. iPhones, the latest platforms and services offer unmatched security with the help of powerful APIs.  One of the examples that we can cite is the role played by scientists of Georgia Tech who designed an application capable of detecting all types of malicious activities on to the Apple Store. It bypasses every single security measure to protect user data.   

Apple has gone at every length ensuring that users feel safe while using their devices and operating system. At its Keynote each year, the company issues an official statement regarding the steps it has taken or plans to take to boost security. The announcement usually highlights a stringent set of rules determining which software and technology are deemed fit to run Customize Mobile App Development in its devices. 

Any iOS application that violates its rules does not get a place in the Apple App Store. This is why serious breaches are very rare in the iOS community. But you are also aware that despite all these measures, the hackers and intruders are constantly trying to break the door and trespass in the prohibited zone. 

Journey Commenced With the App Review 

If we talk about the first line of defense, the journey for iOS security began with an app review. During that time, the apps were manually tested to ensure that they did not crash and abide by the rules of the App Store. 

Apart from this, Apple’s security team also ran a specific analyzer on the app’s binary code to check the private functionality. This important step allowed the company to verify if the code is attempting to secretly make calls or send SMS, and access the confidential data without the user’s permission. 

Although the app review system was successful in keeping the malware away, it had its limitations. For instance, it faced the issue of hundreds of software vetting where reviewers were only able to devote less time to each app. They often miss key concerns that would prop them up after a certain amount of time. 

Identifying Flaws to Boost Security 

Apple, after identifying the drawbacks in the app review system, stepped up to bolster the defense of the iOS-based software. Each of the apps that ran on the iPhone or iPad was only allowed to read and write files within a virtual ‘sandbox.’ Anyone trying to access data from outside the sandbox was outright rejected. The steps also improved the communication of apps with one another via only channels approved by Apple. 

Sandbox also prevents malicious apps from accessing data from other apps without the user’s knowledge. The hacker finds it a hard nut to crack to breach security as a sandbox is incorporated at the lowest levels of the operating system. 

Apple has relatively tried to make it even more difficult for the intruders by separating the areas dedicated to code management and the ones managing only the data. This makes it nearly impossible for hackers to enter into any of the restricted territories. For example, they cannot download any code from the Internet when the user is running it. This protects the app from bypassing the review process and avoids all sorts of troubles. 

Upgrading the Technology Further 

The hackers are much smarter as they have devised a technique to combat the sandbox method as well. This left Apple to develop a further advanced and updated security system, preventing these illegal people from accessing data. One of the areas where the sandbox lacked was that it failed to act against hackers viewing information under appropriate circumstances such as contacts and photo albums. 

It meant that if an app became successful in evading Apple’s analysis tools got the access to view everything right from user’s messages to all private data.  One of the other security issues faced was due to the dynamic nature of iOS technologies. Even a new developer could easily write the codes, take two seemingly unrelated words, encrypt them, and combine them to create a private API.  

But Apple proved to be much smarter. With the introduction of iOS 11 in September 2017, it made significant changes and unmatched security arrangements. The key announcements included-

  • The users were allowed to reset their password to even local backups making logical acquisition trivial. 
  • They could also reset the Apple ID password for the 2FA accounts and change trusted phone numbers using a device passcode. 
  • All health-based data have been synchronized with iCloud technology. 
  •  Apple stopped the pairing of Touch or Face ID and users are required to have a passcode to establish the relation with PC. 
  •  You can automatically call the emergency number 5 times in rapid succession.
  • Apple also introduced the two-factor authentication process at multiple places with iOS 11. It has stopped the earlier two-step verification procedure. 

The Latest Security Updates in iOS 13 

Apple introduced iOS 13 recently last month in September. Like the earlier versions, it also brought several new updates in the new variant. Let’s have a glance at some of the important security upgrades. 

You can Decide How Often Apps will Track Your Location 

One of the unique security features that you will find in iOS 13 is you get more control over apps. It means it will depend on your wish how often the apps can track your location. You can allow it to access your location, give one-time permission or don’t permit it all.  

Control Over Bluetooth 

You can also get control over Bluetooth stopping it to sneak through your important data. You can grant or deny access to any app requesting to get connected with Bluetooth.  

Stopping the Snooping Wi-Fi

Your apps will only get access to the Wi-Fi connection if you are permitting it to do so. It also includes VPN apps and those using a private hotspot network.  

Apart from these, the Sign-in with Apple feature has been further fortified where Apple randomly generates email ids when you sign-in or log out. 

The Final Words 

The customers have always remained a top priority for Apple and that is the reason why the company always keeps on innovating its services and security for much-improved user experience. We will further witness many more enhancements in the security in the time to come.  

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