iOS 5 Software Update: iKnow More Than Ever!

iOS Security Update

Apple consumers everywhere are gradually upgrading their devices with the new iOS 5 Software Update, but it’s important to read the notice highlighting the top new features amongst over 200 advanced capabilities.

The comprehensive list includes promising references to terms such as encryption, however ‘bug fixes’ is listed at the very end of nearly three pages of bullet points.

For those organisations that now allow the use of consumer devices for business, it is essential that clear guidance about the update is communicated to employees in order that any potential security loopholes are overcome and information is protected.

Incentives come with risks

Consumers who download the new software will benefit from free messaging between Apple users, the incentive offered by the iMessage feature which operates over mobile networks as well as Wi-Fi. The potential for the majority of your workforce to communicate using this tool would surely reduce costs; however, sending messages over unsecured Wi-Fi networks will mean your data is vulnerable to interception.

The introduction of new equipment and technology should always be reinforced with timely reminders about how to handle company and personal information and in what space it is appropriate to discuss such details. Explain to employees the value of information and increase awareness of their personal responsibility to safeguard confidential data.

iMessage is described as enabling group messaging while offering secure encryption. Arguably, these two concepts appear to conflict with each other. Group messaging tools can be extremely convenient, but it’s essential that the user keeps track of who is included in a particular thread when giving consideration to who needs to know and is authorised to see certain information.

Popular social media platforms and mobile operating systems tend to group historic messages sent to a particular recipient or group of people, introducing a whole new dimension to the rules about using ‘Reply All’ when replying to emails, iMessages and threads on social networks.

You are here

It is becoming impossible to escape geo-location enabled features, and the iOS 5 update is no exception. Not only does everyone want to share what they are doing, but also where they are doing it.

Documenting your daily routine requires almost no effort once you’ve updated your iPhone or iPad; Apple boasts that the software in the latest iPhone models includes geographically-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location. Does this mean that there is a global database storing the exact location of thousands of users throughout every day?

Switching off

Shock tactics and penetration tests are often the most effective method of raising awareness of the potential for an individual’s personal information to be misused and exploited if a criminal gains access to their geo-location record.

Advise employees against using geo-location apps especially when working or travelling on business. This type of information could also be used to gain unauthorised access to your company premises and the information within.

If your organisation permits the use of consumer devices in the workplace, ensure your employees are aware of their responsibility to protect company information by demonstrating how they can protect themselves. With every new device that comes to market, new versions of supporting software will continue to seduce our desire to be mobile. It is possible to be connected and be secure, but organisations have a responsibility to ensure their employees know how.

Sarah Janes is Managing Director of The Security Company. Joining from BT’s Security Awareness team in 2005, Sarah was the company’s first Project Manager before being promoted to Operations Director, a post she has held since 2009.