Apple devices pose serious corporate security threat

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Both users and IT departments are failing on data security says Centrify

Security management systems vendor Centrify says Apple devices are exposing corporates to widespread threats as they are not fully secured to protect business data.

Of the total 2,249 US workers surveyed for Centrify’s research, nearly half (45 percent) use at least one Apple device for work purposes. A majority of those Apple devices (63 percent) are owned by the user as opposed to the company, and are used to access work email, corporate documents and business applications.

The research found that 59 percent of Macs are used to access confidential company information, and 65 percent of Macs are used to access sensitive or regulated customer information. In addition, 51 percent of iPhones in the workplace are used to gain access to business applications, and 58 percent of iPads in the workplace are used to gain access to business applications

bruised rotten appleHowever, despite the popularity of Apple devices in the workplace, businesses do not invest enough resources to secure or manage them. Over half (51 percent) of all devices are secured by a password that is merely a single word or a series of numbers. And most devices (58 percent) do not have software installed to enforce strong passwords.

Also, more than half (56 percent) of users report sharing their passwords with others, and only 17 percent of Apple devices have a company-supplied password manager. Centrify found that only 28 percent of Apple devices have company-provided device management solutions installed, and just 35 percent have encryption of stored data enforced by their company.

Centrify’s Apple survey spotlights the massive exposures that occur when devices do not comply with standard corporate security policies,” said Bill Mann, senior vice president of products and marketing at Centrify. “In particular, customer data represents a huge liability. Disclosure of regulated information such as healthcare records could expose corporations to fines and other legal action.

Most importantly, there are solutions on the market today that can handily secure Apple devices without sacrificing user productivity. It’s time for IT to take action.”