Apple WWDC 2022: Highlights


Once again Apple presented its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and SOTI experts tuned in to take notes. Here are the highlights.

iOS 16: Focusing on the Challenges of Remote Work

Remote work is here to stay, as evidenced by the following:

With the increase in remote work comes an increase in threats to the technology making it possible. In fact, 54% of IT professionals say remote workers pose a greater security risk than traditional workers who are onsite or in the office.

Two of the biggest challenges associated with remote work are security, as previously mentioned, and device enrollment. The enterprise-based announcements at WWDC 2022 propose ways to alleviate them.

Apple Configurator for iPhone Extends to iPad

Introduced in 2021, Apple Configurator for iPhone allows administrators to add a Mac to their organization by scanning an image from their iPhone.

With the growth of Apple in the enterprise (79% of all enterprise activity on mobile devices happens on iOS), Apple announced Apple Configurator can now add iPhones and iPads to an organization in the same manner: simply scan an image on the device you want to add using a device already in your organization.

This new feature eliminates the need to connect an iOS device to a Mac computer to add devices.

Managed Device Attestation

Workers use mobile devices to access resources such as organizational websites and databases to properly do their jobs. Meanwhile, attackers want access to the same resources so they can exploit its content.

The challenge, at a very high level, is being able to verify a device’s identity. Is it a legitimate device? Or does it pose a risk?

Managed Device Attestation, introduced at Apple WWDC 2022, uses the Secure Enclave to allow devices to “make their case” that they can be trusted using evidence such as its software version. Legitimate devices can access critical resources while illegitimate devices are locked out.

Identity Management

It’s a startling number: 61% of all data breaches involve credentials. Furthermore, 60% of mid-sized businesses with remote employees have experienced a cyberattack, and of that group, 56% suffered from credential theft.

Identity management is critical to protecting devices, data and the people who rely on both. At WWDC 2022 Apple introduced new features to enhance the security and usability of identity management:

  • Platform single sign-on: Apple declared its goal is to have users sign in once and then use that identity across its operating system. Considering 19% of employees have more than 10 enterprise passwords they must use, this is welcome news indeed
  • Enrollment single sign-on: Personal devices used in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capacity can enroll in SOTI MobiControl to access apps and services with a single authentication by signing in with a Managed Apple ID
  • Apple Business Manager integration with Google Workspace: For Federated Authentication (the process of using an account’s username and password from one directory system to allow the same username and password to be used in other systems), Apple Business Manager integrates with Google Workspace. Users can leverage work credentials as Managed Apple IDs for authentication to services on iOS
  • Access management capabilities: When IT admins log into Apple Business Manager, they are presented with two options. The first is “allow all apps”, which lets all users in the organization log into all apps which support Sign in with Apple. The second option is “allow only certain apps”, which allows admins to select and list specific apps users can access

Rapid Security Response

With Rapid Security Response, Apple can automatically deploy security updates to devices in between its standard software updates. In other words, should a severe security risk require an immediate update, security patches can be installed as they are made available. This ensures Apple devices always have the latest levels of security protection.

For businesses, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions can either enforce or prevent the usage of Rapid Security Response.

In Conclusion

Apple is doubling down on enrollment and security. In the world of remote work, devices must get into the hands of remote workers faster and ready to go. These devices must be protected against all sorts of threats and risks. In fact, during the pandemic, the average cost of a data breach now exceeds $4 million USD.

With these updates, Apple demonstrated its commitment to easy device enrollment and powerful device protection.

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