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Apple's App Transport Security extension should concern IT

Matt Kapko | Jan. 3, 2017
Apple backtracked on its 'App Transport Security' mandate, which would require all iOS apps to use secure network connections by 2017. The decision could affect CIOs and mobile administrators.

"It's hard to know why developers did not meet this deadline. There certainly was adequate time," he says. "The fact that they haven't announced a new date suggests to me that it's probably not in the next six months." 

Forkish speculates that one of the problems could be a lack of security skills among iOS developers, who are more likely pressured to focus on time-to-market, size of the addressable market and quantifying the features of their apps compared to competitors' offerings. "Security may not be a concept that app developers, by and large, are familiar with," he says. "It wasn't an oppressive development challenge to implement App Transport Security."

With no further explanation from Apple, the extension should also give enterprises cause for concern, according to Forkish. CIOs need to better understand how apps come to be in enterprise environments, as well as the different participants involved, he says. "A lot of CIOs are thinking more in terms of trust than just security, and if you can't trust that supply chain for your global apps then you really need to take steps to make sure you know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak."

 

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