How Secure is iOS from a Design Perspective? [White Paper Updated]

By | 2014-10-12


Earlier this year, I read an excellent InfoWorld article that summarized the security model of Apple’s iOS operating system many of us use on our iPhones and iPads.

As the company says in the first line of its whitepaper,

“Apple designed the iOS platform with security at its core.”

All the complex encryption mechanisms, digital key exchanges, software sandboxing, and hardware protection boil down to a simple message: Invest your money in our wares, and we’ll stay out of your life. This stance places the company in sharp contrast to its rival Google’s insistence on collecting, collating, and distilling as much information on its users as possible.

Apple has gone to extremes to ensure the privacy of our information. I don’t proclaim to know everything about Apple devices or mobile security. I do, however, sit on teams of subject matter experts for both topics at my company, so I see more information than most on the topics. From where I sit, they really did do it right.

Kudos Apple Engineers. Many, many kudos.

If you’d rather skip the article and go right to the technical details, look at the iOS Security Guide – Oct ’14. Looking for the original February 2014 version of the document that is referred to in the InfoWorld article? You can find that here.

[Updated – October 10, 2014 – revised iOS Security Guide URL to point to new Security Paper dated October 2014]

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