The aspect of security is central to most establishments, and it holds more relevance in the current scenario, especially since everyone these days is going great lengths to ensure the wellbeing of their devices and the content they store on them. Bearing this in mind, and with a pledge to make their approach to security more transparent, Apple released their iOS Security guide for perusal, rather discreetly. iOS continues to be one of the most sought after OS platforms, despite the rising popularity of Android. The security guide, the PDF document of which can be accessed here, covers several aspects of the popular OS that include – System Architecture, Encryption and Data Protection, Network Security, Device Access, among others. It rather seems to be the first time that Apple has discussed topics, like the ones mentioned above.
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“Apple designed the iOS platform with security at its core. Keeping information secure on mobile devices is critical for any user, whether they’re accessing corporate and customer information or storing personal photos, banking information, and addresses. Because every user’s information is important, iOS devices are built to maintain a high level of security without compromising the user experience,” Apple begins its report stating. The report highlights that it comprises details explaining how security technology and features are embedded within the iOS platform, while mentioning the most important elements that need to be borne in mind by those who wish to use iOS devices on their networks.
Among other highlighted factors, the report expressed the importance of activating passcodes on their devices. “By setting up a device passcode, the user automatically enables Data Protection. iOS supports four-digit and arbitrary-length alphanumeric passcodes. In addition to unlocking the device, a passcode provides the entropy for encryption keys, which are not stored on the device. This means an attacker in possession of a device can’t get access to data in certain protection classes without the passcode,” the report states. Interestingly, for passcodes, the report added that the iOS interfaces works at discouraging brute-force passcode attacks by increasing the time delays after an invalid passcode has been entered at the Lock screen. “Users can choose to have the device automatically wiped after 10 failed passcode attempts.”
Among other highlighted aspects of security on iOS, the report added, “The combination of required code signing, sandboxing, and entitlements in apps provides solid protection against viruses, malware, and other exploits that compromise the security of other platforms. The App Store submission process works to further protect users from these risks by reviewing every app before it’s made available for sale.”