iOS Faces Growing Security Challenges

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    An argument gets played out on social media and in conversations at the local pub, and frankly, you can have these arguments over and over again, but you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind: You are either an iOS person or you are an Android person, and very rarely do you see some sort of compromise.

    I’ve been in my share of these conversations, and inevitably, the conversation will turn to security. Yes, iOS has been considered the more secure operating system for a very long time, but according to the second quarter report from Appthority, a definite shift in the mobile security landscape has occurred. Whereas more emphasis is being put on Android security, iOS is seeing an increasing number of vulnerabilities posing security risks to users. As Robbie Forkish, vice president of engineering at Appthority, explained in a formal statement:

    Six security vulnerabilities have surfaced in the Apple App Store in the last seven months, meaning enterprises can no longer blindly trust Apple’s vetting process for apps and need to take additional steps to ensure they are not at risk.

    For example, nearly 1,000 apps infected with JSPatch, which creates a backdoor that lets in potential cybercriminals, were discovered in the App Store and on enterprise-used devices.

    Apple is stepping up its efforts to help users protect themselves from potential threats. This month, an app called System and Secure Info was made available in the App Store, according to CNET:

    The app shows your CPU, memory and disk usage as well as a list of all running processes. On the security front, it can tell you if your device has been compromised or possibly infected by any malware.

    On the other hand, this app is evidence of how risks for iOS have increased. A year or two ago, few would have imagined – let alone admitted – their iPhone would need malware alerts.

    As for Android’s shift toward better security, in a release, Domingo Guerra, co-founder and president of Appthority, credited the introduction of Android for Work, but warned that the enterprise still has a lot of work to do to ensure security on Android devices:

    With only 4.6 percent of Android devices running Marshmallow six months post launch, security patches to known vulnerabilities are not making their way to the enterprise quickly enough. And, to quickly and securely identify and populate Work Profiles with enterprise safe apps. IT and Security Administrators will still need an app risk management solution.

    Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom’s Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba

    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba
    Sue Poremba is freelance writer based on Central PA. She's been writing about cybersecurity and technology trends since 2008.

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