On 14 June 2013, David Perrin presented at our seminar on apps in pharmaceutical development on the subject of app security and reliability.
David’s talk compared the general security of the four major mobile platforms, of which iOS devices are among the most secure and continually improving, and went on to consider typical ways that attacks could be launched against smartphones and tablets. Some of the defences built into iOS devices were examined, but also some significant opportunities for attacks if an expert (or well equipped) attacker obtains physical access to a device (even for a few seconds). David went on to discuss security risk analysis for app development and a range of attack countermeasures available for use where appropriate.
David also discussed the role of testing in software development and the contribution of software reliability to security and the need to make app software safe and secure by design (‘correct by construction’) rather than trying to rely on testing. The advantages of modern functional languages, such as OCaml, for app development were discussed in this context, and the Master Schnapsen/66 app used as an example of a publicly available app written in OCaml by Associates of Virtual PV.
The slides are available here (3.3MB).