Let us begin by acknowledging that iOS is one of the most secure mobile operating systems. iOS applications are developed keeping the restrictions and guidelines in mind since Apple has a closed and strict system. Enterprises today cannot afford to compromise data security, especially when cybercrimes are at their peak. This is why product owners tend to approach a reliable iOS app development company to create safe and sensible applications.
Hereby, if you are looking to introduce iOS development to your upcoming projects, you have chosen the right article, to begin with. Today, we will discuss some of the best practices to secure your iOS app development. There are various methods to safeguard the user’s data in mobile applications. You can consider SSL pinning, security audit, and user data protection tools. What other measures can we take to protect our data management system?
Let’s begin to find answers.
iOS Application security-
With the imposed security protocols by Apple, the users and legislators have begun to take the subject of data privacy very seriously. This iOS development trend also applies to other mobile applications with user proximity. With more usage and convenience, your iOS application requires special measures to protect user data. Therefore, it’s best to apply security solutions right before the development phase.
Before we share the data security solutions, let’s take a quick glance at some of the frequent potential risks to your application.
Potential Risks in iOS app development:
Some of the fundamental threats that occur in iOS applications are mentioned below:
User data leak-
This is a simple chain. The user typically enters sensitive information in the application. If the data is not stored in a closed ecosystem, there is a high probability of data leak in an unauthorized system.
Man in the Middle attack-
In iOS applications, one can easily intercept HTTP(s) requests and responses. On the other hand, TLS (Transport Layer Security) is not enough to secure your iOS application. Using tools like Charles Proxy, the hacker can track the app requests, correspond server responses and manipulate the network traffic.
Besides, if the user connects its iOS device to the public wiFi, data can be intercepted directly from the application’s network traffic.
Reverse or back engineering is a process to understand how a device (software, application, or any component) operates and accomplishes its tasks. With the thorough reverse engineering effect, any hacker can obtain the Keys that you use in the application, the business logic, and the URL address. What’s even worse is that it can also modify the behavior of your iOS application.
These are some of the most commonly occurring risks in iOS applications that are challenging to deal with. But you don’t have to worry because we have security tips to avoid such threats.
Keys to Secure your iOS application-
Every owner looks forward to developing a feature-rich and interactive application for better user engagement. However, with more engagement comes a responsibility to secure as much data as possible. Here are a few solutions to safety threats in iOS applications.
User data protection tools-
When you are looking to strengthen data protection, focus on two aspects:
whenever you use a relevant solution for data storage and data security whenever any information is entered by the user. Make sure that such sensitive information is stored in the keychain. Keychain is a system for password management developed by Apple. This applies to both macOS and iOS. iOS Keychains are only accessible to the applications that created them.
Core Data and Realm database
You can also consider using Core Data and Realm Database. Core Data is a framework dedicated to Apple with SQLite database. This ensures that the SQLite is not interrupted when the application is unlocked. Apple also has a feature of “Data protection” that keeps the sandbox encrypted if the device has a passcode lock.
Another great hack is Realm Database. It is an open-source alternative to Core Data and SQLite. You can easily encrypt your data in AES-256 format. This ensures that only your application can decrypt the sensitive information stored in the keychain using this format.
Since passcodes can be jailbroken, worn down, and unlocked by an unauthorized user, we can also try third-party web solutions like “Encrypted Core Data SQLite store.” In terms of safety, this keeps the data intact even when the device is unlocked.
User Input Protection
We must be familiar that the keywords utilized in iOS application development can cause data cache in auto-correction. Likewise, data cache can also be caused by screenshots. This way, when your application goes running in the background, the system takes a screenshot. If you do not put the masking feature over your iOS app during development, the chances are that the data is visible to the screen. Every user input can be shared with a third party or can be tracked down without masking.
Protection from Reverse engineering-
Implementing safety measures can be a little challenging with reverse engineering. One trick you can try is storing the application’s keys in a specific ecosystem. For this, you can use Cocoapods keys.
Another popular technique is to enhance the iOS security protocol using code obfuscation. Under this method, the continuous delivery process of the application will remain under the hood. You can hide the necessary code and create fake traps to mislead the hacker. But do not forget that the technique comes with a considerable price.
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Last but not the least, make sure to conduct a security audit before you release your application. Instead of hiring external hackers, you can simply go through “OWASP Mobile application Security Verification Standard”. Furthermore, you can also review a security checklist to improve safety features in your iOS app.
iOS app development is relatively secure than other operating systems. With Apple, you get incredible mechanisms to safeguard your iOS application. However, this does not guarantee a hundred percent safety. With the advancement in technology and software, hackers have modernized their stealing methods too. Therefore, we highly recommend using services from a reliable iOS app development agency for a smoother development run.
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