Menu
Apple gives iOS app developers more time to encrypt communications

Apple gives iOS app developers more time to encrypt communications

The iOS App Transport Security (ATS) will not become a requirement on Jan. 1, as previously announced

Apple has backtracked on a plan to force iOS developers to encrypt their app communications by the end of the year.

The company had previously announced at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference in June that all apps submitted to the App Store will need support the App Transport Security (ATS) feature starting January 1st, 2017. It has not yet set a new deadline.

ATS is a feature first introduced in iOS 9 that forces apps to communicate with internet servers using encrypted HTTPS (HTTP over SSL/TLS) connections. It's an improvement over the third-party frameworks that developers previously used to implement HTTPS because it ensures that only industry-standard encryption protocols and ciphers are used.

Even if ATS is enabled by default in iOS, on a technical level app developers can disable some of its features or can opt out of it entirely through various exception settings that ATS makes available.

A recent study performed by security firm Appthority on the top 200 apps present on iOS enterprise devices showed that 97 percent of them bypassed at least some ATS requirements and weakened the default and recommended configuration.

Apple planned to include ATS compliance as a requirement in its App Store review process starting next year and to require reasonable justifications for any exceptions. However, as the Appthority study showed, many developers are unprepared to fully enable ATS in their apps.

"At WWDC 2016 we announced that apps submitted to the App Store will be required to support ATS at the end of the year," Apple said in an announcement on its developer site Wednesday. "To give you additional time to prepare, this deadline has been extended and we will provide another update when a new deadline is confirmed."

There are many reasons why developers might not be ready or even able to encrypt all of their apps' traffic. For example, many apps integrate with third-party advertising, analytics and media hosting services and the adoption of HTTPS by those services is not something that app developers can control.

As of December 22, the 3 percent ATS readiness figure among iOS apps had grown to only 5 percent, the Appthority researchers said Thursday in a blog post. "We assume that Apple, too, realized that an unacceptably high number of apps would fail to meet the ATS deadline unless it was extended."

The researchers believe that even if Apple hasn't abandoned its plans for full ATS compliance, this is not something that can be achieved very soon, which is probably why a new deadline hasn't been announced yet.

"In light of this new development, we recommend that enterprises track the state of apps’ ATS compliance and consider alternatives to apps that access sensitive corporate data and don’t secure their network connections using ATS," they said.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments