Apple recently released a new operating system (OS)–iOS 7. This new OS showcases an improved interface, a brand new control center for friendlier navigation, playful transparent animations, and more. But, the most interesting additions of Apple to its latest OS are the security features that look like preventive measures for the anticipated growth in number of Apple malware this year. Here are the 5 security features found in iOS 7:
#1 iCloud Keychain
Everyone is having a difficult time juggling multiple devices and various online accounts—we’re not only required to update several applications and account profiles regularly, but also mandated to change our passwords monthly for security purposes. Because of these, secure password managers that can help us simplify logins across different websites and devices are in demand. As a response to this, Apple includes iCloud Keychain to its new OS.
This feature assists users in generating secure passwords that can be easily synced between multiple devices via iCloud. It’s important to note that iCloud Keychain will only sync with trusted devices. Moreover, it can also help users store and access sensitive information, like credit card and social media account logins. For data protection, it uses 256-bit AES encryption.
Apple’s new OS doesn’t require users to manually update outdated software and applications—it will automatically do so. This way, your Apple device is always secured against malware writers who love exploiting outdated software. There have been many incidents in the past where malware leveraged outdated applications and software until they are patched and updated. Cybercriminals have also tried faking update notifications in Apple devices to fool people into running malicious software.
There is a rapid increase in the number of stolen Apple products. To respond, Apple introduces Activation Lock. This feature works in a very simple way–if anyone tries to turn off Find My iPhone or to entirely wipe the memory of an Apple device, the phone will be inoperable until the right iCloud password is entered. This locks down Apple devices to a single user—no one can sell stolen Apple devices as new because the device will be in stolen mode.
This new OS allows users to set a VPN per app to maintain Apple owners’ privacy online. What’s a VPN? A virtual private network uses a public network to connect remote sites or users together. It’s widely utilized in enterprise groups because it disables reading of all encrypted data, securing all business transactions done over it.
Users can simply set a VPN to secure specific apps without requiring any source code changes or software development kit (SDK) embedding. Threats brought by trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and consumerization of IT can be mitigated in the enterprise through this feature that freely allows users to set a VPN for every application in their business phones (read more).
Reminiscent of OS X’s “Do Not Track” capability in Safari, iOS 7 introduces a “Do Not Track” option in Safari that will prevent other people, particularly the advertisers, from tracking user activities. This gives more privacy and security for Apple owners.
People have mixed reactions to the new OS update Apple made. From a security perspective, Apple consistently impresses. Apple has always been aggressive in securing its line of products, as illustrated in “4 Signs That Apple’s Sharpening Its Security Game”. This is why people love Apple products in the first place—their hardware are more secure than their counterparts. This is why Apple will continue to be concerned about security, thereby keeping them one step ahead of the competition.