Understanding App Transport Security in iOS 10 – Beginner’s Guide

Understanding App Transport Security in iOS 10 – Beginner’s Guide

In today’s digital world, mobile applications have become an integral part of our daily lives. With the rise in mobile app usage, cyber threats have also increased. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit, which can potentially compromise users’ sensitive information. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the security of mobile applications. This is where app transport security ios 10 comes in.

App Transport Security is a feature that has been introduced in iOS 9, and is further enhanced in iOS 10. It enforces secure network connections between an app and its back-end server. Its primary objective is to protect users’ sensitive data, such as usernames, passwords, and other personal information, from cyber attacks and interception.

In this beginner’s guide, we will explore App Transport Security in iOS 10 in detail. We will cover its key concepts and features to help readers gain a comprehensive understanding of app security in iOS 10. We will also discuss the benefits of implementing this feature and the challenges developers may face. So, let’s get started and learn how to improve app security with App Transport app security ios.

App Transport Security in iOS – An Overview

In response to ios security response 16.4 1 a reddit concerns raised by a Reddit post in 2016, Apple introduced a new security feature in iOS 10 – App Transport Security (ATS). ATS is a security enhancement that enforces best practices in the secure connections between an app and its back-end. In this section, we will take a closer look at the purpose of ATS, its evolution, and how it compares to Android security.

The Purpose of ATS

The main purpose of ATS is to ensure that all network traffic between an app and its back-end is encrypted using industry-standard protocols. ATS enforces this by allowing secure connections only to servers that support secure connections. This approach minimizes the risk of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, which are a common form of cyber-attack where an attacker intercepts and alters communication between the app and the server.

The Evolution of ATS

ATS was introduced by Apple in response to the growing concern for app security. In its initial release, ATS was optional for app developers, but with iOS 10, it became a requirement for all apps submitted to the App Store. ATS has also evolved to include additional features such as Certificate Transparency and HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which further enhance the security of the app connections.

iOS vs Android Security

There has been a long-running debate over which mobile operating system is more secure – android vs ios security. While both operating systems have their advantages and disadvantages, there is a consensus that iOS is more secure. One of the main reasons for this is that iOS is a closed system, which means that Apple has complete control over the hardware and software, unlike Android, which is open-source.

Additionally, Apple has a strict app review process, which involves a thorough vetting of every app submitted to the App Store. This process includes security checks, which ensure that the app meets the security standards set by Apple, including ATS compliance. Android, on the other hand, allows apps to be downloaded from third-party app stores, which can pose a security risk if the user is not careful.

Implementing App Transport Security in iOS 10

Implementing App Transport Security (ATS) in iOS 10 can be a straightforward process if certain best practices and configuration options are followed. Here are some steps to ensure app security:

Step 1: Check Domain connections

Make sure your app’s network interactions are secure. ATS requires secure connections for all API interactions, including third-party libraries. Ensure that all endpoints are using secure connections or “https”.

Step 2: Allow Exceptions

Use the “Allow Arbitrary Loads” variable only when absolutely necessary. This variable is typically used when working with third-party APIs that do not support HTTPS.

Step 3: Use ATS Exceptions

To allow specific non-HTTPS traffic, create an exception in the app’s .plist file. For example, if you need to connect to a non-secure server, add the following code to your app’s .plist file:


Step 4: Implement Security in Libraries

If your app uses third-party libraries, ensure that those libraries are also compatible with ATS. If a third-party library doesn’t support secure connections, you will need to replace it with a library that does or contact the vendor and request that they implement support for secure connections.

Step 5: Test Your App

Test your app and its components thoroughly to ensure that ATS is working correctly. Use the Network Link Conditioner utility to simulate different network conditions.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your app is secure and compliant with ATS in iOS 10.

App Transport Security in iOS – Benefits and Challenges

App Transport Security (ATS) in iOS 10 has brought about significant improvements in the security posture of apps. It has become a crucial feature for developers looking to ensure a secure connection between their app and the servers it communicates with. Here are some of the benefits of implementing ATS in iOS 10:

Improved Security

ATS enforces best practices in the handling of network connections and ensures that they are secure and encrypted. This feature ensures that data is transmitted and received securely, reducing the risk of potential data breaches. Users can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their data is protected while using an app with ATS enabled.

Empowers users

ATS empowers users to make informed decisions regarding app security by giving them a clear indication of whether or not an app is communicating over a secure connection. Users can feel confident that their data is protected and that they are not at risk of data breaches.

Challenges for developers

ATS implementation can be a challenging task for developers. The feature may cause issues with apps that communicate with non-secured servers, leading to connection errors. Additionally, some developers may experience difficulty with the configuration of network exemptions for certain domains. However, with proper understanding and implementation, these challenges can be overcome, and developers can achieve the benefits of ATS.

Tips for overcoming challenges

Developers can overcome the challenges posed by ATS by using the right tools and following best practices. One effective solution is to use a network proxy to analyze traffic and diagnose issues. Additionally, developers can request exceptions for specific domains that require non-secure communication. Understanding the ATS requirements and staying up-to-date with Apple’s ATS guidelines are crucial in ensuring successful implementation.

App Transport Security in iOS 10 is a critical feature in ensuring app security and protecting user data. While it poses some challenges for developers, proper implementation can lead to improved security and empowered users. Understanding the benefits and challenges of ATS is essential for developers looking to enhance their app’s security.


What is App Transport Security?

App Transport Security (ATS) is a security feature introduced in iOS 9 and continued in iOS 10. It enforces secure connections between an app and its servers, enhancing the privacy and security of user data.

Why is App Transport Security important?

App Transport Security is important because it helps protect user information from eavesdropping and tampering. It ensures that apps communicate securely over HTTPS, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.

How does App Transport Security work?

App Transport Security works by enforcing secure communication between an app and its server through HTTPS. It checks that the server’s certificate is valid and trusted, and it prevents communication with servers that don’t meet the security requirements.

Can App Transport Security be disabled?

App Transport Security is enabled by default in iOS 10, but it can be disabled on a per-domain basis if necessary. However, it is generally recommended to keep App Transport Security enabled to ensure the highest level of security for user data.

How can I implement App Transport Security in my iOS app?

To implement App Transport Security in your iOS app, you need to configure your app’s Info.plist file with the necessary security settings. This includes specifying the domains that require secure communication and ensuring that the server’s certificates meet the ATS requirements.

Are there any challenges in implementing App Transport Security?

Implementing App Transport Security can sometimes pose challenges, especially when integrating with third-party servers or older systems that do not meet the security requirements. However, there are ways to overcome these challenges by working closely with your server administrators and following ATS configuration best practices.

What are the benefits of using App Transport Security?

The benefits of using App Transport Security include enhanced privacy and security for user data, reduced risk of data breaches, and improved user trust in your app. It also aligns with Apple’s commitment to protecting user privacy and ensures compliance with App Store guidelines.

Is App Transport Security only applicable to iOS?

Yes, App Transport Security is specific to iOS and is not applicable to other operating systems. However, other platforms have their own mechanisms for ensuring secure communication, such as Google’s Network Security Configuration in Android.