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Get up to speed on iOS 10 security

As business desktop applications transition into mobile apps, more iPhone users are accessing professional data. IT must put iOS 10 security as a priority for business.

As Apple's iPhone and iPad capabilities continue to grow and develop, so does iOS security.

Online and mobile threats have also developed and grown quickly. With iOS 10 came new features that pose risks themselves, as well as iOS security measures that can combat other risks. It is imperative to double-check current privacy settings as well as know what to manage in order to best protect user data.

What are the biggest iOS 10 security features?

With iOS 10, the passcode options expanded to include alphanumeric, meaning any combination of numbers and letters. This is in addition to the Touch ID biometric authentication method for iPhones generation 5s and newer. Another one of the new iOS 10 security features is auto-lock, which users can now set for as quickly as 30 seconds. If an iPhone is unlocked but set down, this feature will automatically lock the device within the amount selected.

Not only does iOS 10 give more options regarding when location services can be shared with an app, but it also creates a list of applications requesting to access certain data. This allows IT to better manage and control the sharing of data. In addition, the Advertising button under privacy settings gives the choice to limit ad tracking, so that an individual's search data is more guarded.

How does iOS 10 approach user privacy?

The biggest privacy update with iOS 10 is differential privacy.

The biggest privacy update with iOS 10 is differential privacy. This new way of coding personal data is as complex as its name suggests. Apple is able to collect, analyze and encrypt personal data from an iPhone without specifically connecting that collected data to a specific user. For instance, with predictive texting in messaging, the system will analyze what words and emojis a user most commonly uses, but it does not identify the user. For the Spotlight search, users will see suggestions of frequently used items of the keyword within a search, but it stores the analyzed data locally, protecting the individual's privacy.

With the introduction of differential privacy comes benefits and risks, however. The benefits are higher protection on data and better aggregated information to make devices more customized to individual use. But for Apple to get this type of insight, it must collect much more data than it previously did. The more data that is gathered, the more vulnerable the data is to interception.

What are security risks with iOS 10?

With employee mobility comes the risk of personal and professional data being attacked and exposed. It is vital for businesses to expand their mobile protection strategy, as iOS 10 security is not always enough. In September 2016, a huge hole in iOS password-verification threatened the whole operating system, allowing a firm to gain access to password-protected local backups faster than on previous versions. Apple solved the problem by altering the algorithm in follow-up security updates 10.1 and 10.2; however, these types of attacks are a major concern in terms of iOS security strength.

Apple has introduced more and more iOS management and security features for IT. Do you know how to use them? Take this quiz to find out.

How can IT keep iOS device security top notch?

IT must enforce company-wide mobile device management and employee best practices to best protect against threats. IT should also encourage employees to never connect to public or insecure Wi-Fi, turn on Touch ID and two-factor authentication for devices and iCloud, and not allow employees to jailbreak iOS devices.

IT should also ensure that users keep their devices up to date with the latest OS and apps, require a complex six-digit passcode and enable remote wipe. Just by going from a four-digit to six-digit passcode, the number of possible combinations increases from 10,000 to 1 million.

Next Steps

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This was last published in March 2017

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