Many organizations use Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, allowing employees to use their personal devices at work. This flexibility can cut down on your company’s tech budget, but it also presents tricky security concerns. What happens if employees inappropriately mixes their personal lives and professional documents on their smartphones? What types of trade secrets will leak if a phone is lost or stolen? Do you have a way of removing company documents once an employee quits or is terminated? Luckily, Apple’s updated iOS 7 firmware for the iPhone helps organizations address these pressing security questions.

 

MDM Security

 

Your IT department can now use Mobile Device Management (MDM) applications such as Apple’s free Configurator software, to control iPhone security restrictions in iOS 7. The new firmware lets you control AirPrint destinations, so that your employees can only print documents wirelessly to approved printers. The same restrictions can be applied to the iPhone’s AirPlay functionality, so that media is streamed to approved Apple TVs. This can help prevent accidental or intentional data leaks.

 

The new MDM settings allow your IT department to decide whether the Notification Center and Control Center can be accessed from the Lock Screen. Disabling these features can make it difficult for a lost or stolen device to become compromised. Additionally, your organization can set password standards, requiring at employees change their passcode on a set schedule, containing complex characters such as numbers or symbols.

 

Accessibility Features

 

IOS 7 allow you to manage more accessibility features on the iPhone, allowing organizations to standardize audio, visual, and touch settings on all of their devices. These accessibility settings are not just for users with disabilities – they have immensely important business applications as well. For example, you can enable the LED light to blink whenever an employee receives a call or notification. This can help ensure that business critical calls are not missed.

 

Companies can also enable Guided Access, which locks an iPhone into a single app. This way, customers or clients looking at a menu or catalog app on an iPhone cannot view other apps containing sensitive information. The employee can deactivate Guided Access with their passcode, one they need to use the device.

 

“Open-In” App Control

 

When an employee receives an email or web attachment, such as a PDF or Word document, the iPhone will usually prompt them to choose an app to open the document. However, this can lead to security concerns, especially if an employee mixes their work documents with personal ones. Your IT department can fine-tune the “open in” settings, to prevent documents from being shared between apps. These settings can be managed from your MDM software.

 

Custom App VPN Settings

 

Security breaches can occur when an employee connects to free public Wi-Fi at libraries, cafes, and other locations. If they send out secure business information, someone else might be able to intercept this traffic. Another bad scenario occurs when employees use office networks for personal reasons. The iOS 7 updates allow IT departments to assign secure networks to specific apps and control traffic authorization.

Companies already have a high degree of control when it comes to office landlines, such as 800-number-forwarding and computer networks. However, workspaces that use BYOD protocols often struggle with maintaining their company security. 1800 numbers can provide your office with a single, controlled point of contact between clients and employees, but you also need to manage iPhones that are used for business. The new and complex updates to iOS 7 make this possible, with strict MDM options, greater accessibility control, and app security customizations. Work with your IT department to get your BYOD technology updated to the newest iOS firmware.