iPhone 5 falling short on Security? BYOD Review of Apple's new iPhone

iphone 5Apple’s latest product has just been launched and it's already creating a frenzy around the world. Ever since its revival by the late CEO Steve Jobs, Apple's stock has risen tremendously. Its latest product, the iPhone 5, propels the number of iPhone users to even more extreme heights. However with great use, comes great vulnerability in terms of security. With more and more businesses moving from Blackberry to the iPhone we have to ask of its security features- does the iPhone 5 measure up?

Some features of iPhone 5 include a 4-inch retina display, ultrafast wireless, built-in A6 chip, iSight camera, Siri (software that operates your phone by responding to voice commands), iCloud, and several other apps to help better your smartphone experience. All programs run on the latest iOS 6.

As these new technologies are being used by the iPhone 5, the security risks are hightended. We will explore a few features that may hinder the security of the iPhone 5.

The issue with Passbook

With installation of the latest iOS 6, the user will have the ability to store tickets, loyalty cards and coupons on their iPhone 5. It may seem convenient, but the addition of this information also requires the storing of personally identifiable information like credit card numbers, birthday, social security number, etc. This makes the new iPhone and instant target of hackers and other cybercrimes.

App installation problems?

The iPhone 5 does not require an additional password to install free applications. This might appear to be a concern, but according to experts, there is nothing much to worry about. The granular permissions of iOS 6 make it difficult for malware authors to access any iPhone account. However, security training is necessary for people who are used to installing apps without using a password. They may not recognize a new app appearing on their screen which could be a malware intruding into their phone without permission.

Granular privacy controls   

There are certain apps that gather information from the operating system. The iOS 6 has put warnings in place to help make these app actions more transparent. The new granular privacy notifications control privacy settings and require apps to ask for permission before requesting access to location, contacts, calendars, reminders and various other features of the user.

The security strengths of iPhone 5

While conducting a mobile security review, it is important to address the security strengths of the phone as well. The iPhone 5 has a Kernel Address Space Layout Randomisation, which from a security perspective is the most unique aspect of iOS 6. The exclusive features of this particular application are to keep the address changing periodically in order to protect the phone from hacking attacks. There are certain data structures within the OS that allow the hackers to enter and explore the vulnerable areas of the operating system. The vulnerable addresses in the OS 6 keep on changing and that is why the hackers cannot use the common means to break into the system.

In the end, iPhone 5 has all the security features that one can ask for in a smartphone. The issues that were not addressed in the last version have been repaired, along with some additional features. However from a business perspective, unless your entire company uses the iPhone 5, you may want to assess your current mobile security posture.

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