Was Apple’s Announcement a Security Win?

mm
  • September 11, 2014
  • INK Team

We’re an Apple shop over here at INK, so of course Tuesday’s Apple announcement was met with excitement and cheers as we all sat around the kitchen table watching the live stream. Amidst the excited chatter and yes, some chuckles (did you see Apple’s awesome Scarf Guy?), Apple’s announcement left me feeling conflicted. The tech enthusiast in me couldn’t wait to get her hands on an iPhone6 and Apple Watch to play with the new features. The security nerd in me – thanks to INK handling global identity protection solution provider CSID’s public relations program – was extremely skeptical of just about everything CEO Tim Cook and VP of Marketing Phil Schiller showed. iCloud was hacked just last week, after all.

I had a hard time pinpointing on what was making my stomach turn until I read The Verge’s Russell Brandom’s post-announcement article:

“Apple Pay puts more data at risk and offers more ways to get at it. That’s a dangerous combination if security isn’t keeping pace.

Brandom just about nailed it, though I would take it a step further and place the responsibility not solely on the security industry, but on every tech consumer. The past year has been one long press conference announcing one massive data breach after another. Cyber crime isn’t contained by geographical borders and a data breach can happen in a blink of an eye. The reality is that hackers have the world at their fingertips and everyone is having a tough time keeping up.

I was on a call with CSID’s CIO Adam Tyler this week and he had a wonderful security metaphor that I’m going to borrow: you wouldn’t get into the driver’s seat of a car without fully understanding how to operate it safely. Unsafe drivers are a risk on the road to everyone.

People today – myself included – are using technology without taking a moment to fully understand, appreciate and implement the security measures needed to safely operate their devices. This is putting themselves and others at risk for identity theft, data breaches and worse.

On the bright side, Apple Pay does have some great security features. When you use Apple Pay, two-factor authentication (fingerprint + device) is required to buy something. Apple doesn’t store your credit card when you add one to your device and no card information is ever shared with the merchant when you make a purchase.

The Apple team may not have addressed the recent iCloud hack on Tuesday, but they made a point to emphasize security in an announcement that millions tuned into. That’s a little win for the security industry and a pretty big step towards educating the mass consumer how and why they need to safely operate their devices.

Curious to see what Apple announced on Tuesday? Check out INKer Jess Warren’s blog post that shares all of the features and products we’re excited about.

Other good stuff in here