According to Apple the iOS platform is incredibly secure. The company even states: “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.”
As a result, Apple’s iPad and iPhone are generally considered to be safe and secure devices to use, however, a security flaw was discovered in late February 2014 that means that an attacker could intercept your data if you are using an unprotected hotspot, perhaps in Starbucks or an internet café.
What are the security risks in Apple iOS
The problem is with Apple’s implementation of a basic encryption feature that shields data from snooping. Most websites handling sensitive personal data use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security), which establishes an encrypted connection between a server and a person’s computer. If an attacker intercepts the data, it is unreadable.
However, iOS’s validation of SSL encryption had a coding error that bypassed a key validation step in the web protocol for secure communications. As a result, communications sent over unsecured Wi-Fi hot spots could be intercepted and read while unencrypted, potentially exposing user password, bank data, and other sensitive data to hackers via man-in-the-middle attacks. They could also supply fake data that makes it appear an authentic web service has been cryptographically verified.
Are my iPhone and iPad safe?
In the case of the SSL flaw, the danger is mitigated somewhat since an attacker must be on the same network as the victim. However, you could be open to attacks if you are using a shared network and someone is snooping on that network. This could be someone in your local Starbucks.
Secured Wi-Fi networks, such as home and business networks with encryption enabled, are not affected.
Should I update my iPhone/iPad?
In February 2014, Apple issued updates to iOS 7 and iOS 6 to protect against the security flaw. We recommend that users install these updates.
You should have received a notification of the iOS 7.0.6 update, if not go to Settings > General > Software Update.
Does this mean that Apple’s wrong about iOS being secure?
It’s certainly not going to help the company convince people that they don’t need to be protecting their devices. Many users coming from a desktop environment are already confused about security services for the iPad and iPhone, asking whether they need to install security software on their iPad or iPhone.
Generally these devices are safe because many security features are enabled by default and key features, like device encryption, are not configurable, so users cannot disable them by mistake. Other security measures include low-level hardware and firmware features that protect against malware and viruses.
Apple also approves every third-party application that appears on the iPhone and iPad. As Apple explains: “Unlike other mobile platforms, iOS does not allow users to install potentially malicious unsigned apps from websites, or run untrusted code. At runtime, code signature checks of all executable memory pages are made as they are loaded to ensure that an app has not been modified since it was installed or last updated.”
Another level of protection comes from the device passcode – which means that an attacker with access to your device cannot get access to your data.
What anti-virus program do I need for an iPad or iPhone?
You don’t need anti-virus software for the iPad and iPhone – not that there is any anti-virus software available for the device. iOS is designed and built to only accept and install software that has been approved by Apple and run through the App Store. As such Apple has pretty much guaranteed that you won’t encounter any malicious software on your iOS device. Similarly security companies complain that Apple will not approve any security focused software for the iPad or iPhone, presumably Apple doesn’t want to give the impression that such software is necessary.
Having said that there are a variety of security-themed apps on the App Store. Security specialist Symantec has a number of apps such as Symantec Mobile Encryption and Symantec Secure Email. These are typically designed to integrate the iPad with an enterprise environment, allowing iOS devices to communicate securely with enterprise servers.
But for the home user, the iPad (and iPhone) is one of the safest computing experiences you can imagine. It’s combination of locked down hardware and software make it more secure out of the box than a Mac or PC with security software installed.
But no matter what solution you take to secure your iOS device, build a backup for your data is a good way to prevent iOS device data loss. More info about iOS device data recovery or protection you can visit our site to get more useful info.