Q&A: iPhone Security and the Enterprise Market

Jesper Svegby is the Director of Business Development for the Mobile group at Check Point. With more than 10 years of experience in the Mobility and IT-security community Jesper has among other positions a history within the Swedish banking sector where he has participated within security groups covering secure transactions over public nets.

Does Check Point’s support of the iPhone mean that you believe it’s ready for the business user? Should Windows Mobile and Symbian be worried?
We see the iPhone as a successful and intuitive piece of technology that has been widely accepted. With Apple’s iPhone 2.0 beta wrapping up we would expect to see a much greater adoption by enterprises as this latest version addresses their key requirements, like e-mail integration (most importantly with Microsoft Exchange), WiFi and an SDK to facilitate new applications by developers.

When it comes to security, the most important aspect (encryption of data at rest) is not yet available. In terms of device management, the vendors in this space will have to implement support for iPhone.

The new iPhone SDK that has been released will enable 3rd party vendors to do a lot on this platform. However it still needs more in terms of device management and security for the platform to excel into the enterprise market, where it will go up against Blackberry in the US and Symbian/Windows Mobile in EMEA.

In your opinion, what are the most important steps an iPhone user should do in order to keep their device safe?
These are measures we recommend for any end point device. Maintain control of the device and use appropriate physical security practices and set up. Don’t install any applications other that the ones provided to you by your organization. Do not synchronize data that might be sensitive (which includes company emails.

Utilize the existing access control/password on the iPhone to make it more difficult to gain access to the contents. Apple will offer a remote wipe feature that can be utilized in the 2.0 release, however we would recommend the much stronger encryption technology when available. Wipe cannot ensure that data has not been leaked (for example, the first thing that usually happens with a stolen device is the SIM card is removed).

What worries about iPhone deployment does Check Point take care of?
Today Check Point provides the strongest end point security for more platforms than any other vendor and we’re committed to expanding this coverage to new platforms. One example of our close working relationship with Apple was the successful development and launch of our Full Disk Encryption for Mac OSX product. We also recently launched secure remote access for the iPhone via our VPN-1 gateways and are actively working with Apple on data security solutions for this platform as well.

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