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Three Ways iCloud Impacts Enterprise Security

Consumer technology solutions have maintained a healthy distance from enterprise IT operations

Consumer technology solutions have, for the most part, maintained a healthy distance from enterprise IT operations. Sure, executives in the mid-2000s all needed help getting their Blackberry synced with your Outlook server, and company laptops have been a relatively standard thing for longer than that. By and large, however, most consumer solutions haven’t created too many issues for IT. The release of iCloud and iOS5, however, might prove to be a different story.

Starting with security

cloudOne of the biggest concerns enterprises are going to have with the use of iCloud for business purposes is security. Meeting compliance requirement can get a little bit more challenging, given this new technology. That being said, there are a number of important features in iOS 5 that should alleviate some of the concern.

There are three major areas of security to think about with iOS 5 and iCloud:

1.    Location-based services
The new Find My Friends app offers some wonderful potential for things like employee monitoring or accountability. It also creates the opportunity for theft. Anyone on the user’s friend list can know where the user is. On top of that, the feature could be used to monitor a user covertly during times when they’re not working, making it a privacy risk.

2.    iCloud
iCloud is designed to be a personal, rather than professional, data syncing product. The ability to have access to important files anytime, anywhere, is also tempting for users at work. This means that confidential corporate data may wind up being synced to a user’s iPhone or iPad, and then subsequently syncing to their home computer. Even after that person leaves the company, that data may then be available to the person. This, of course, says nothing about potential phishing scams and other potential security leaks from home.

3.    The problem with Siri
Siri uses voice recognition to enter commands, read text messages, and more. If a user asks Siri to read business emails, for example, a nearby person might overhear something confidential. This can be managed through user education, but still remains something of a danger.

User education, along with a variety of security protocols on enterprise-owned devices and systems, should be able to mitigate most of these risks.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.