Endpoint
5/16/2014
12:00 PM
Roman Foeckl
Roman Foeckl
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

‘Apple Picking:’ 5 Ways to Lose (& Retrieve) Mac Data

Apple platforms are far from invincible, as these common loss scenarios demonstrate.

When iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices like Macbooks became popular, thieves saw stealing them as an easy way to make a quick buck. Now they're after much more -- data. Today's Apple devices store quality data -- contacts, credit card transactions, passwords -- of interest to criminals. Worse, BYOC and BYOD are increasingly making Macs repositories for sensitive corporate intellectual property, which further attracts both cyber-criminals and disgruntled or dishonest employees.

This story will educate IT managers and end users about the threat to data from "Apple picking" and how to reduce the risk of data loss through policy, practices, and free and market-based security tools and solutions such as data loss protection (DLP) and mobile device management (MDM). Full disclosure: My company provides such solutions.

The best way to protect your users from Apple picking is simple, but often not enforced. Train your employees to be religiously aware of their surroundings. Teach them not to leave devices (iPhone, iPad, Macbook) unattended or in plain sight of coworkers or the public. However, should an employee become a victim, here are five tips to help keep your company's confidential data safe.

Tip 1: Use the password protection and encryption already in the device
Both computers and mobile devices come with built-in security features. Ensure your users create a password and enable encryption to add another layer of protection. For Macs and iPads, FileVault is a great full disk encryption solution. For iPads, ensure that Screen Control Center, Notifications, and Today View are locked, as well.

Tip 2: Always use Apple's device tracking and locating features
If you have to, these features will enable you to wipe data off any device if it gets lost or stolen. Apple provides a guide for activating and using these cloud-based features. They're easy to set up, so why run the risk of someday needing to wipe data off a user's device, only to learn the user didn't activate device tracking and locating? The downside to wiping the device is the data is gone forever, along with options to control the device remotely. If an employee's device has been stolen, the tracking features can help you pinpoint its location, so you can alert authorities to help recover it.

Now, let's get a bit more creative and give you information that's not as commonly known.

Tip 3: Applock makes things harder for the Apple picker
Applock is a feature that allows users to set their iPhone or iPad to access only a specific application if it's stolen, adding yet another obstacle for anyone who tries to take a mobile device. For example, the app can be a media player, which can be set to play a specific song if the device is lost or stolen. Applock can also be programmed to sound an alarm or siren to annoy or scare a thief into discarding it.

Tip 4: Applock combinations: video capturing and/or voiceover apps
Through the Applock feature, an MDM solution can remotely "wake up" the phone and launch the device's video camera or a voiceover app. The camera can record everything around it, which could provide clues about who has your device. You can use the voiceover app to start talking to the person who has your phone, too. Though this may not directly avoid data loss, it can help you recover your stolen phone or gather information to decide whether to wipe away its data or not.

Tip 5: Stay hopeful
Not everyone has bad intentions. Sometimes employees simply forget their device "somewhere," and a well-intentioned person finds it. You can put the device on "Lost Mode" to set a four-digit passcode to protect it, and to display an onscreen message stating the device has been lost or stolen, along with an alternate phone number. Because the device is locked, the person has only one option: Call the number.

Roman Foeckl leads CoSoSys. The company is a leading developer of mobile device management (MDM), data loss prevention (DLP), device control, network endpoint security, and portable storage encryption solutions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It has ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-6090
Published: 2015-04-27
Multiple cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities in the (1) DataMappingEditorCommands, (2) DatastoreEditorCommands, and (3) IEGEditorCommands servlets in IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 SP6 before EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.3 before 6.0.3.0 iFix8, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.5 iFix...

CVE-2014-6092
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM Curam Social Program Management (SPM) 5.2 before SP6 EP6, 6.0 SP2 before EP26, 6.0.4 before 6.0.4.6, and 6.0.5 before 6.0.5.6 requires failed-login handling for web-service accounts to have the same lockout policy as for standard user accounts, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause...

CVE-2015-0113
Published: 2015-04-27
The Jazz help system in IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management 4.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Quality Manager 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Team Concert 4.0 through 4.0.7 and 5.0 through 5.0.2, Rational Requirements Composer 4.0 through 4.0.7, Rational DOORS Next Generation...

CVE-2015-0174
Published: 2015-04-27
The SNMP implementation in IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 before 8.5.5.5 does not properly handle configuration data, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-0175
Published: 2015-04-27
IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) 8.5 Liberty Profile before 8.5.5.5 does not properly implement authData elements, which allows remote authenticated users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.