Data security is an issue that has become further complicated by the emergence of smartphone technology. But now a feature uncovered in the latest version of iOS from Apple might give users the upper hand in the fight to protect private information from being unearthed.
Apple is just one of the tech firms that has been put under pressure by government agencies around the globe to provide a backdoor to devices so that data can be accessed without user consent. This culminated in the FBI paying huge sums to a security firm to hack an iPhone belonging to a terrorist – https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/08/fbi-paid-900000-to-unlock-san-bernardino-iphone/.
Now with iOS 11, law enforcement organizations and malicious third parties alike will have an even harder time of cracking confiscated or stolen iPhones because of a new approach to authentication. In short, users who want to backup and sync their phone with a PC or Mac will need to provide both their fingerprint via Touch ID as well as a separate passcode. This adds another obstacle that agencies will need to overcome while acting as an important additional barrier to protect the privacy of iPhone users.
From a business perspective, smartphones and the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) culture has created something of a security nightmare. And the use of endpoint security solutions as offered by vendors like promisec.com is mandatory in the modern age. As a result, the introduction of a more secure mobile platform from Apple is likely to be welcomed, even if on paper it seems to be a relatively minor change.
Basing the entire security of a device on a fingerprint is seen as problematic by some because of the ease with which a user might be convinced or coerced into tapping the scanner to unlock it. But getting them to part with their password is a lot tougher, especially if other circumstances have got in the way of them being physically present.
Of course, this change brought about by iOS 11 also needs to be seen in the wider context of the arrival of the iPhone X, the flagship Apple handset that does away with Touch ID and replaces it with Face ID. Security issues with this facial scanning security feature have already been identified and more experimentation is required.