iOS7 Mobile Device Management Enhancements

According to reports, iOS7 beta usage is ramping at twice the rate of iOS6 at its pre-release introduction. While much has been said about the new user interface, icon designs, gesture control, AirDrop for ad hoc Wi-Fi sharing etc., from a mobile management perspective, there are significant enhancements in iOS7 worth our attention.

Here is our list of a dozen security and management features you should care about.

1. Activation locking. iOS7 brings activation locking to “Find My iPhone”.  In the new release, turning off Find My iPhone or erasing the device requires Apple ID and password. When the device has been wiped remotely using Find My iPhone service, re-activation requires the same iCloud account credentials, helping to prevent unauthorized usage of the lost device.

2. Enterprise single sign-on. iOS7 will improve its Mail configurations for business email accounts and provide enterprise single sign on (SSO) and data protection within corporate apps. Single sign on allows user credentials to be used across apps. Each app configured with SSO verifies user permissions for enterprise resources, and allows users to log in without having to re-enter passwords.

3. Per app VPN. Managed app configuration is provided, for more efficiently deploying and managing iPhones and iPads in the enterprise. Apps can be configured to automatically connect to VPN upon launching. Per app VPN gives IT granular control over corporate network access.

4. Trusted devices. This feature alerts the user when connecting the device to a Mac or PC, to ensure that the user trusts the computer to which the device is connected, before granting full access.

5. MDM configuration options. Allows IT departments to enroll devices into existing MDM solutions, ensuring that devices are configured with corporate settings and are in-line with predefined policies. The MDM protocol in iOS7 includes a number of new commands, queries, and configuration options that allow MDM solutions to set up and manage apps over the air, AirPrint printers, and whitelist AirPlay destinations. Large fleets of ompany owned devices can be automatically enrolled in MDM during activation, fully configured with corporate settings and policies, and users can be up and running fast.

6. App Store license management. iOS7 will introduce the App Store Volume Purchase Program (VPP), providing businesses the opportunity to assign apps to Apple devices while keeping control and ownership over the licenses. IT can purchase app licenses from Apple and use an MDM solution to assign apps to employees over the air, app licenses can also be revoked and reassigned to other employees.

7. Managed Open In. Stricter control will be placed on documents viewed on an Apple device, by controlling which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments. This can help keep work documents in corporate  apps and also prevent personal documents from being opened in managed apps.

8. iCloud Keychain. iOS7 features a security design for storing passwords and credit card information securely.

9. App data protection. Using methods that leverage the user’s passcode to create a strong and unique encryption key, data protection provides IT with peace of mind that corporate data is secured without additional configuration. All third-party apps now have data protection enabled automatically, so information stored in App Store apps is protected with the user’s passcode until they first unlock their device after each reboot.

10. Alerts on Lock screen. Notification Center now allows the user to see alerts from applications and sync even from the lock-screen.

11. Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking. This allows users to prevent specific people from being able to contact them.

12. Geofencing accuracy in Reminders. You can now refine the geofencing accuracy in the Reminders app in iOS 7 to notify “when I arrive” or “when I leave” a geofenced area.

Amtel is working diligently with Apple to bring to our customers, support for new iOS7 features in an Amtel MDM release update coming this Fall.