Android Apps Are More Vulnerable Than iOS
Most people remain unconscious about security until and unless they encounter issues and threats like loss of personal data, frequent app crashes, data breaching, identity theft, etc. This is why security always comes later, after one encounter security issues or app performance problems, not before that.
It has been established now that the Android operating system has more security vulnerabilities than the iOS operating system for several reasons. Though both platforms have their security loopholes and shortcomings, iOS as a closed operating system has a better edge over Android.
Choosing the Right Operating Systems (OS) Platform
Not a single smartphone device or any operating system can be considered as full proof in terms of safeguarding from security threats. In the mobile ecosystem today, both iOS and Android platforms have their own set of pros and cons.
Here we explain the pros and cons of both platforms.
Pro: Android platform allows configuring the security and privacy settings as per necessity.
Con: Android is an open-source platform with open access to the source code and enhances security vulnerabilities.
Suggestion: Instead of depending on the out of the box security, Android users need to adjust the security tools and settings.
Pro: iOS as a closed operating system, doesn’t share source code and comes with highly standardized and well-maintained security settings for every iPhone and iPad device.
Con: Depends entire on Apple’s security practices and protocols and doesn’t offer many scopes for third-party security tools.
Suggestion: For excellent out of the box smartphone security, iPhones updated with the latest iOS version are the best options.
Exposure to Viruses and Malware
Since the Android apps mobile ecosystem is most diverse with too many different devices running a wide variety of OS versions, Android phones are common targets of malware, viruses, and hackers. As per various studies, most malware attacks target Android devices, while iOS is targeted almost by none.
Evaluating how an app behaves in different situations and user contexts is a key consideration for a mobile platform’s security aspects. Sandboxing is the common and most trusted technique to evaluate apps and operating systems’ responses and performance in different situations.
Apple is mainly known for using this sandboxing technique. The technique forces an app to work within a walled-off space, leaving no scope for interaction with other apps or even the operating system except certain basic elements. This measure ensures that any malware hiding in the app code cannot infect other apps or the operating system.
In complete contrast to sandboxing measures of Apple iOS, the Android operating system is designed to ensure optimum flexibility. But this openness also makes the Android operating system more vulnerable to security attacks and vulnerabilities of all types.
While offering optimum freedom and ease of interaction was the motto of Google, this led to a huge compromise on security aspects. This is why many leading Android app developers in India put maximum efforts into QA testing.
Security Vulnerabilities of App Marketplaces
Another crucial area where security concerns get bigger is the respective app marketplaces of both platforms, namely Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A virus can hide inside an app that appears to have a different purpose of use. This is why some apps installed for an altogether different purpose can be responsible for compromising a phone’s security.
Though in some cases such attacks also occurred to iPhones, such instances are really rare. This is mainly because Apple has a strict app review system verifying all apps in the App Store before they get published. Only a minuscule number of apps, as of now, could break through this security and get published with their malicious code unnoticed.
In complete contrast, the app review process of Google Play Store is very loose, slack, and open-edged. An app submitted to the Play Store gets published in just a few hours for the users to start installing and using. According to Mr. Juned Ghanchi of Indianappdevelopers, “The loose and relaxed security of Android apps make it more challenging for the app developers. We need to run more tests for Android apps than iOS apps.”
User authentication often is considered a key pillar of mobile device security. Since most hackers use bots to catch passwords and steal authentication data, password and user name combinations no longer offer any strong security. Bots can try thousands of password combinations in a few seconds and can guess any password with relative ease.
Biometric authentication technologies, in this respect, brought great relief to the mobile apps. The fingerprint scanner has emerged as a unique breakthrough measure to validate users closely followed by face recognition.
Android, for the first time, came up with a facial recognition feature for user authentication, followed quickly by Apple iOS. Now Face ID is widely used to unlock devices and apps and carry out transactions and share data with other users.
Whatever direction you look at, the challenges to mobile device security is increasing by leaps and bounds. But the latest security protection technologies such as biometric authentication have shown excellent capabilities in safeguarding apps from malicious intrusions and attacks.