How to Prevent Cyber Risks on Business Trips

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( — March 18, 2020) — A report from Reuters has revealed that Apple previously planned to allow iPhone users to utilize end to end encryption when storing their device backups within iCloud. However, after complaints from the FBI, Apple scrapped these plans. This happened about two years ago, according to sources with ties to both the FBI and Apple; however, Apple never notified users or made this information public.

Jason Simons with ICS in Houston shares insights into preventing cyber risks while on business trips.

Apple’s Long-Running Feud With Law Enforcement and Federal Agents

Since federal investigators and other law enforcement agencies discovered that evidence against potential criminals could be found on devices like iPhones and Apple computers, they have been engaging in a near-constant tug-of-war with Apple and other tech giants. The law’s argument? There are child abusers, terrorists, drug traffickers, and other serious criminals who could be successfully prosecuted or behind bars if only Apple would turn over sensitive data. Both Democrat and Republican politicians have supported this logic.

In the past, Apple has had mixed responses. In several cases — such as one involving the shooting of three Americans by a Saudi Air Force officer at a Florida naval base — Apple did turn over the Saudi’s backups from iCloud. There are other situations in which Apple has been helpful to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies as well.

Still, Apple likes to pose themselves as supporters of security. This is how they like their users to see Apple anyway. And it was in this vein that they began working on a plan to offer end to end encryption for iPhone backups on the cloud several years ago. End to end encryption essentially means that only the user would have the password to unlock their iPhone backups stored on the cloud. Apple would not have that “key” and would, therefore, be powerless if the FBI or anyone else wanted to crack into a protected iCloud backup or other stored data.

Sources within Apple revealed that plans for end to end encryption were scrapped, however. The actual reason is not completely known, but the FBI was vocal in its objection to the plan, and most Apple sources agree that it was because of this that Apple decided to abandon the project.

So, Should You Quit Using Apple Products? How Safe and Secure Are They?

There’s no need to quit using Apple products in light of this news. However, it’s wise to remember that tech companies don’t always have your best interest in mind when it comes to security and data protection. Additionally, in the event that law enforcement wanted to access your saved iCloud backup, yes, it’s possible they would be able to gain access. Fortunately, though, Apple does offer end to end encryption for specific types of saved date — namely: Saved account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords and logins, credit card information, and health data.

If you are a business owner and you truly want to ensure the security of the rest of your information and all your devices (and you should), it’s best to work with an IT company to set up durable cybersecurity features. This is especially true for companies who have remote workers — those who work from home or travel for work. These individuals are often the ones who use personal devices like iPhones for work, and most notably, they use them on various unsecured networks. This can be compromising when it comes to security risks.

Whether it’s remote IT security you want to reinforce or your entire company’s IT, an experienced managed services provider can help. They’ll go over your business’s current security plan, look for weak areas, and implement a new security setup that will make your business’s networks, devices, and data as impervious as possible to outside threats.