The 5 Critical Risks of Ignoring iOS App Security

The 5 Critical Risks of Ignoring iOS App Security

Ask any mobile app developer their biggest fear and they’re likely to say security breaches or data leaks — with good reason. Apple published a study late last year that showed between 2013 and 2022, the number of data breaches went up threefold; 2.6 billion personal records were exposed in just the last two years. Unfortunately, 2024 isn’t looking any better.

With increasing amounts of sensitive user data being handled by iOS apps, developers need to be concerned about the possibility of their app being hacked. A breach can have far-reaching consequences, including legal liabilities, financial loss, and more. So, let’s take a closer look at the five critical risks you face from ignoring iOS application security.

1. Loss of Private User Data

The human impact of a data breach is arguably the worst aspect of security incidents. When sensitive user data is compromised, it’s not just numbers, names, or abstract information that’s lost — it’s the privacy and security of real individuals. People who trusted the app with their personal details, believing it to be safe.

Imagine the anxiety that comes with knowing your personal information, such as your address, phone number, financial details, or health records, is in the hands of criminals. None of us became developers to put people in that position — but it’s a sobering reminder of the real-world consequences that technological oversights can have and the importance of prioritizing security.

2. Legal and Financial Repercussions

The aftermath of a data breach often carries significant legal and financial consequences. Very significant — IBM recently placed the global average cost of a data breach at $4.45 million. Yikes! That sounds like the sort of financial setback that could severely and negatively affect year-end bonuses. No thanks.

Releasing your iOS app can go one of two ways. The first is that it’s released and used as intended. Users are happy, and your company is profitable. The second is that it’s hacked, tampered with, stolen, or otherwise breached. Those incidents kill profit. The bottom line for the bottom line? Secure your apps so those problems are not yours.

3. Business Disruption

A security incident is one of the fastest ways to bring your operations to a screeching halt. Just ask bleach giant Clorox — their systems were infiltrated and production was offline and affected for months. Breaches lead to immediate revenue loss and diminished user engagement. Users are suddenly left without the services they rely on (and wondering why.)

The resources and time invested in addressing the breach are huge. Investigations, security fixes, and ensuring all vulnerabilities are addressed — these things all divert attention and resources away from your true business goals and objections. This diversion can halt regular business operations and slow down ongoing development and innovation.

4. Intellectual Property Theft

If your app’s source code, algorithms, or business strategies fall into the wrong hands, the implications will be devastating. Such sensitive information is the lifeblood of your competitive advantage. When it’s compromised, you’re not just losing lines of code or documents, you’re giving up the essence of what makes your app unique.

Hackers or competitors could leverage your innovations for their own projects, creating similar or enhanced versions of your app. This not only erodes your market position but can also lead to the emergence of copycat or fraudulent apps released outside of the app store on shady websites for the purpose of tricking your users. No thanks.

5. Loss of User Trust and Damage to Reputation

A breach in app security can severely damage the trust users have in your app, leading to a decline in the user base and difficulty in attracting new customers. In the competitive app market, trust is key, and once lost, it’s very hard to regain. This will directly impact your reputation on the market and have long-term effects.

Moreover, think of yourself as part of the larger community of developers. We are trained professionals who take pride in our work and adhere to high standards. Do you want your name attached to a security incident? Prioritizing security is a hallmark of top developers, so let’s do it and not only avoid security incidents but also elevate our entire community’s standards.

Don’t Leave iOS Application Security to Chance

As an iOS developer, risking application security is a gamble you cannot afford. The risks range from data breaches compromising user trust to legal and financial repercussions that can cripple your business. Not to mention that any security lapse damages your reputation and makes you look foolish. Prioritizing security is both a technical necessity and an ethical obligation.

Use Defender for iOS for iOS Application Security

We invite you to try Defender for iOS, a robust security solution compatible with both Swift and Objective-C applications built with Xcode. Sign up today and enjoy a 14-day free trial, experiencing firsthand how Defender for iOS is at hardening iOS applications against the reverse engineering that leads to data breaches and security incidents.