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5 Best Security Tips For The Development Of iOS Mobile Applications

Published on 18 January 17
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5 Best Security Tips For The Development Of iOS Mobile Applications - Image 1

Apple puts a significant effort to make the App Store a walled garden and keep smartphones safe. iOS applications are well- known for their strong security standards.

The mobile application world is filled with viruses, malware and hackers. Sometimes, hackers manage to penetrate through the security of mobile applications. Hackers generally use modified XCode in order to infect top-rated mobile applications.

Hence, iPhone app development company can not just rely on the Apple data protection measures. The company needs to implement strong protection right into the functionality of iOS applications. For this accomplishment, a company needs to hire iOS developers who have excellent knowledge of iPhone app security policies.

App developers should make sure about all the security issues in an application before release. iPhone application must get tested over and over again in order to ensure about enhancing security and hacker-free application. Following tips that are very helpful to make iOS app protected against malware and hackers.

1. Protect Sensitive Data First

Failing to secure data storage and transferring is the serious and yet most common mistake that iOS developers commit. For example, information transfer during the online transaction is the common target for many hackers. Due to weak data protection, hacker groups can easily hijack and expose user’s personal data such as full names, addresses, bank account numbers, phone numbers etc.

Hence, while developing an app, protection to sensitive data should be the prime goal. Developers should ensure what data to keep on a device, and which to store to the back end database.

Many developers think keeping user data directly on iPhone or iPad makes an app to perform faster and improve the user experience. Well, along with this, it makes hackers easier to gain illegal access to personal, financial and legal information that app stores locally. Due to this, many users are not able to update their iOS security measures appropriately.

Therefore, if security is a top priority for the developers, it is recommended to keep important data on the back-end Database(DB) server. This will help to store data under the shield of strong security standards. Storing data on the back-end database servers do not leave a single chance for hackers to gain illegal access because of high data encryption and algorithms.

2. Use Strong Binary Protection Schemes

In some cases, it’s mandatory to store some sensitive data locally for the app to work properly. But, do not keep sensitive data locally is the thumb rule for every iOS app developer to follow.

Well, solution for this is developers should not keep this sensitive data in plain text. Apple’s File Protection Mechanism provides a number of encryption methods to protect the user-grade data from the attackers.

The data which is exchanged between iOS app and back end DB server is get encrypted every time by File Protection Mechanism. This mechanism uses SSL/TLS protocols to prevent man-in-the-middle attack. The iOS app and DB server use the binary key in order to encrypt and decrypt the data.

Generally, developers should make sure that all the SSL certificates must be based 2048 bit-keys. Because even though hacker tries to decrypt data with 2048 bit key, it will take thousands of years to reveal it.

But, encryption of data for client-server communication is not everything. Developers should have to make sure that binary key itself is protected. The key should not be stored locally on the servers. A best practice is to create a key exchange system and keep the keys on a remote secure server.

3. Trust No User Input

Every parent used to tell their child not to trust strangers and accept candies from them. Well, this advice can also be implemented with the iOS application security. For developers, iPhone apps are like children and they should teach the apps how to handle all requests which are untrusted.

Secure identification and authorization help iOS app to determine whether the user inputs are trusted or not. The developers should make sure that application accepts only authenticated SSL certificates. By using set Allows Any HTTPS Certificate developers can achieve the validation of SSL certificates for their applications.

4. Proper Session Handling

The mobile app handles various sessions while performing a task such as online payment. The app switches between various sessions until payment procedure gets completed. In some cases, the sessions are left open infinitely and hence it creates a chance to attackers for data theft.

App developers should not let the app override sessions timeouts. The use of strong session identifiers automatically detects for opened sessions and set session expiration time. For example, payment gateway window has session expiration time of approximately 180 seconds. After 180 seconds, session identifier automatically terminates the payment gateway window.

5. Perform Penetration Testing

Every app development company perform functional testing, performance testing, integration testing to make the mobile app more reliable and effective. But, in order to make mobile app hacker-proof, penetration testing is the best solution.

The app development company needs to hire iOS App developers who are expert in white-hat hacking and let them break the security of an app. This will help to find out how many security measures that developers missed to implement in an application?

Another method to perform penetration testing is to allow a clueless user to handle the mobile app and allow them to click suspicious links and installing fishy applications.
2
5 Best Security Tips For The Development Of iOS Mobile Applications - Image 1

Apple puts a significant effort to make the App Store a walled garden and keep smartphones safe. iOS applications are well- known for their strong security standards.

The mobile application world is filled with viruses, and hackers. Sometimes, hackers manage to penetrate through the security of mobile applications. Hackers generally use modified XCode in order to infect top-rated mobile applications.

Hence, iPhone app development company can not just rely on the Apple data protection measures. The company needs to implement strong protection right into the functionality of iOS applications. For this accomplishment, a company needs to hire iOS developers who have excellent knowledge of iPhone app security policies.

App developers should make sure about all the security issues in an application before release. iPhone application must get tested over and over again in order to ensure about enhancing security and hacker-free application. Following tips that are very helpful to make iOS app protected against malware and hackers.

1. Protect Sensitive Data First

Failing to secure data storage and transferring is the serious and yet most common mistake that iOS developers commit. For example, information transfer during the online transaction is the common target for many hackers. Due to weak data protection, hacker groups can easily hijack and expose user’s personal data such as full names, addresses, bank account numbers, phone numbers etc.

Hence, while developing an app, protection to sensitive data should be the prime goal. Developers should ensure what data to keep on a device, and which to store to the back end database.

Many developers think keeping user data directly on iPhone or iPad makes an app to perform faster and improve the user experience. Well, along with this, it makes hackers easier to gain illegal access to personal, financial and legal information that app stores locally. Due to this, many users are not able to update their iOS security measures appropriately.

Therefore, if security is a top priority for the developers, it is recommended to keep important data on the back-end Database(DB) server. This will help to store data under the shield of strong security standards. Storing data on the back-end database servers do not leave a single chance for hackers to gain illegal access because of high data encryption and algorithms.

2. Use Strong Binary Protection Schemes

In some cases, it’s mandatory to store some sensitive data locally for the app to work properly. But, do not keep sensitive data locally is the thumb rule for every iOS app developer to follow.

Well, solution for this is developers should not keep this sensitive data in plain text. Apple’s File Protection Mechanism provides a number of encryption methods to protect the user-grade data from the attackers.

The data which is exchanged between iOS app and DB server is get encrypted every time by File Protection Mechanism. This mechanism uses SSL/TLS protocols to prevent man-in-the-middle attack. The iOS app and DB server use the binary key in order to encrypt and decrypt the data.

Generally, developers should make sure that all the SSL certificates must be based 2048 bit-keys. Because even though hacker tries to decrypt data with 2048 bit key, it will take thousands of years to reveal it.

But, encryption of data for client-server communication is not everything. Developers should have to make sure that binary key itself is protected. The key should not be stored locally on the servers. A best practice is to create a key exchange system and keep the keys on a remote secure server.

3. Trust No User Input

Every parent used to tell their child not to trust strangers and accept candies from them. Well, this advice can also be implemented with the iOS application security. For developers, iPhone apps are like children and they should teach the apps how to handle all requests which are untrusted.

Secure identification and authorization help iOS app to determine whether the user inputs are trusted or not. The developers should make sure that application accepts only authenticated SSL certificates. By using set Allows Any HTTPS Certificate developers can achieve the validation of SSL certificates for their applications.

4. Proper Session Handling

The mobile app handles various sessions while performing a task such as online payment. The app switches between various sessions until payment procedure gets completed. In some cases, the sessions are left open infinitely and hence it creates a chance to attackers for data theft.

App developers should not let the app override sessions timeouts. The use of strong session identifiers automatically detects for opened sessions and set session expiration time. For example, payment gateway window has session expiration time of approximately 180 seconds. After 180 seconds, session identifier automatically terminates the payment gateway window.

5. Perform Penetration Testing

Every app development company perform functional testing, performance testing, integration testing to make the mobile app more reliable and effective. But, in order to make mobile app hacker-proof, penetration testing is the best solution.

The app development company needs to hire iOS App developers who are expert in white-hat hacking and let them break the security of an app. This will help to find out how many security measures that developers missed to implement in an application?

Another method to perform penetration testing is to allow a clueless user to handle the mobile app and allow them to click suspicious links and installing fishy applications.

2

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