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Apple's new iPhone moves impact more than just consumer tech

Steve Ragan | Sept. 11, 2013
Apple unveils its latest iPhone and new enhancements, including a new biometric security offering called Touch ID. But will these features have any impact to corporate security?

But building ways to implement biometric data protection on top of authentication may be difficult unless Apple opens up. In a statement, the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, said that while Apple's announcement raises awareness around strong authentication, it amounts to little more than "just another proprietary authentication solution, no different from terrific authentication solutions already in the marketplace."

"No matter how good an authentication solution may be, Apple's or any others-until there are open standards for interoperability, the backend and the need for federated identity cannot be addressed, and nothing really changes."

The risk associated with Apple's new identity feature is one that will need to be followed and examined as time goes on, but with an influx of new iPhones coming to the network, administrators and security minders will need to act sooner rather than later.

The key takeaway for many actively working in the field is that Apple's offering is a start, and if it helps with the existing problems surrounding authentication, then that's a good thing. The tick will be making it work with whatever's already in place on the network.

With iOS 7 coming, should jailbreaking be a worry?
Years ago, security managers and network administrators worried about iPhones because some users were jailbreaking their devices. Initially, the number of people with jailbroken devices was small, but once the concept took hold, others started doing it, but forgot to take basic security precautions, opening themselves (and in some cases their employers) up to increased risk.

With a new iOS release coming, the topic of jailbreaking is back in the spotlight. Already, a private jailbreak for iOS 6.1.4, running on an iPhone 5 has been demonstrated, but it hasn't been made public. With the latest version of iOS coming later this month, the 6.1.4 jailbreak is unlikely to be released, but its existence proves that the jailbreaking community is alive and well.

Earlier this year, in just four days, 7 million of Apple devices were jailbroken by consumers using the Evasi0n tool.

Jailbreaking happens because people want more from their devices, and providers like AT&T and Verizon maintain strict environments and application controls. This situation doesn't account for the needs of the business when it comes to BYOD, complicating things some for organizations that demand or require controlled devices.

Speaking to CSO, Jay Freeman, the administrator for Cydia (the app store for jailbroken devices), when asked his opinion on jailbroken devices in a corporate setting, said that the general concerns are somewhat misplaced.

"In a corporate setting, I think that people are overly concerned about jailbroken devices and not sufficiently concerned about jailbreakable devices," Freeman told us.

 

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