How to Use Encryption to Protect Your iOS App?

With the increasing usage & widespread adoption of mobile applications, it is essential to ensure their security. As users rely on mobile devices for essential tasks such as banking & communication, the need for secure iOS app development cannot be overstated.

Encryption is an irreplaceable tool for securing iOS apps. Used in conjunction with other security measures, encryption ensures that data remains confidential, authentic, & integral. As part of this post, we will take you through the methods of securing iOS apps via encryption.

Encryption Overview

Via encryption, plain text can be easily scrambled & transformed into ciphertext. Using a certain key, you can decrypt the ciphertext into the original plain text. It guarantees that no one can read or access the message without authorization. Encryption algorithms may vary in functionality & complexity, but they all serve the same purpose – securing data.

How Does Encryption Work?

The iOS operating system uses various encryption algorithms to protect data transmission & storage. You can utilize encryption algorithms like AES(Advanced Encryption Standard), RSA(Rivest Shamir Adleman), & Blowfish, etc.

When data is encrypted, it is then converted to ciphertext with the cryptographic key. Encrypted data employs cryptographic keys as a “secret code.” This code does not offer any kind of unauthorized access to the data. It will become ciphertext if the encrypted data is accessed by someone who does not have access to the original plaintext.

A few techniques to secure your iOS app are listed below:

1. Data-at-Rest Encryption

This technique ensures all the data stored in your application’s database is secure & unreadable without a key. This is a vital part of mobile application security & data is usually stored locally on the device. If the device is lost or stolen, you don’t want data to be readily accessible.

In iOS, Apple provides a Data Protection API that allows developers to secure data stored locally on the device. You can hire iOS app developers to employ API to categorize data into different classes, each with its level of protection.

2. Transport Layer Security

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol used to secure data in transit over the internet. Using TLS, data transmitted between the server & client is encrypted & not accessible to unauthorized parties. All major iOS apps use TLS encryption to secure user data in transit.

You can use different versions of TLS, including TLS 1.2 & TLS 1.3, to secure data in transit. However, keep in mind that some versions have security vulnerabilities, so always use the latest version.

3. Password Encryption

Storing user passwords in plain text is a security risk as a breach may expose them to intruders. Instead, it is best to store them in an encrypted form. iOS provides several libraries to encrypt & store passwords, including Keychain Services API & Secure Enclave.

Keychain Services API is an encryption library used to store sensitive information like passwords. The API is designed to store sensitive data safely & promotes secure key handling practices.

4. Cryptographic Hashing

Cryptographic hashing is a process of converting message data into smaller fixed-length values. Hashed data cannot be reverse-engineered back to the original message & makes cryptographic hashes useful in protecting passwords & other sensitive data. iOS provides several robust & secure hash functions, including SHA-256 & SHA-512.

5. Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is crucial to secure digital assets, & developers must incorporate it into their apps to safeguard user data. iOS offers developers the Local Authentication framework to build two-factor authentication features into their apps seamlessly. The framework supports biometric identification, such as Face ID & Touch ID, & enables possession-based authentication like security tokens. 

By utilizing two-factor authentication, hackers cannot access user data even if they obtain their credentials. Companies planning to enhance their app security can hire software developers USA to build robust two-factor authentication systems for their apps.

Final Thoughts

It is paramount to secure your iOS app with encryption techniques. From utilizing Face ID authentication & relying on token-based authentication methods to investing in 256-bit AES encrypted solutions & the newest available algorithms, there are a plethora of ways that you can keep your users’ data safe & secure. 

If you’re looking for a reliable partner in app development, Zazz is your best choice. Having worked with some of the world’s top companies, they provide top solutions such as delivering custom mobile applications with complete security controls. All the while prioritizing innovation & scalability for future growth.

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