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Apple Adds Data Security, MDM Configuration Goodies to iOS 7

Apple’s push to position iOS 7 as an enterprise-ready mobile operating system has received a big boost with the addition of new features covering encryption, data security and configuration.

Apple’s push to position iOS 7 as an enterprise-ready mobile operating system has received a big boost with the addition of new features covering encryption, data security and configuration.

The company published a new “iOS 7 and business” web page this week to showcase the new features, which include per-app VPN capabilities, new mobile device management (MDM) configuration options and third-party app data protection.

iOS 7 Business FeaturesThe new iOS 7 will also feature enterprise single sign on, App Store license management and the ability to control which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments.

For businesses large and small, the added MDM capabilities will be significant.

Here’s how Apple explains it:

“The MDM protocol in iOS 7 includes a number of new commands, queries, and configuration options that make third-party MDM solutions even more powerful. Wirelessly set up managed apps, install custom fonts, configure accessibility options and AirPrint printers, and whitelist AirPlay destinations.”

In addition, Apple said company-owned devices can be automatically enrolled in MDM during activation. “As a result, IT can skip basic setup steps and fully configure devices with corporate settings and policies — and users can get up and running faster than ever. IT can now supervise devices over the air enabling additional controls for highly managed deployments,” the company said.

The addition of per-app VPN is another key component that will appeal to businesses. With iOS 7, mobile device apps can now be configured to automatically connect to VPN when they are launched. “Per app VPN gives IT granular control over corporate network access. It ensures that data transmitted by managed apps travels through VPN — and that other data, like an employee’s personal web browsing activity, does not,” Apple said.

Under the hood, the company has automatically enabled data protection for all third party apps, meaning that information stored in App Store apps is protected with the user’s passcode until they first unlock their device after each reboot.

Written By

Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a security community engagement expert who has built programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. Ryan is a founding-director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world.

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