Upgrading your operating system (OS) is more than getting the latest shiny new features — it’s also about ensuring your device has the latest security updates. While not the most common method of attack, unpatched software with known vulnerabilities can result in data breaches with costs upwards of $4.17 million on average, according to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report.
Beyond new and improved features and performance enhancements, Apple’s recently released iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma include a number of security and privacy updates beyond the inherent OS architecture. In this blog, we’ll explore these features and what they mean for the end user.
Increased privacy and security
Safari and passwords
With the new operating systems, users can use different profiles to keep work and personal browsing separate in Safari. This separates your history, cookies, extensions, Tab Groups and favorites, making it easier to keep your work and personal data where they belong.
Enhancements to Private Browsing locks your private windows when you’re not using them; use your credentials like Face ID or Touch ID to unlock. Private Browsing also removes tracking info from URLs that websites can use to identify you, while known trackers are blocked.
If you’ve ever asked a friend or family member to log into your account for you, you might have given them your password in a not-so-secure way. It’s now easy to share your passwords and passkeys with trusted contacts running iOS 17, iPadOS 17 or macOS Sonoma.
Sensitive content warning and communication safety
Sensitive content warnings can be enabled to warn users when a picture may contain nudity, preventing the view of unwanted explicit images. This feature is available in Messages — for iOS, this is also available in AirDrop, Contact Posters and FaceTime messages.
Similarly, nudity can be detected in photos and videos children may receive or attempt to send in Messages and the system Photo picker in both iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma. This feature is also available in AirDrop, Contact Posters, FaceTime messages and the system Photo picker in iOS 17.
Expanded Lockdown Mode
Lockdown Mode was introduced in iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, with support added for Apple Watch in watchOS 10. Lockdown Mode is an extreme security measure intended for at-risk high-profile individuals, such as government officials, executives or journalists.
With the latest operating system, Lockdown Mode restricts or limits certain apps and features, including:
- Messages: Most attachments are blocked, other than certain images, video and audio while links and link previews are disabled.
- Web browsing: Certain web technologies are blocked and web fonts and images may not be displayed.
- FaceTime: Incoming calls are disabled unless you have previously called that person. SharePlay and Live Photos are unavailable.
- Photos: Location information is excluded when photos are shared, shared albums are removed from the Photos app, and shared album invitations are blocked.
- Device connections: iPhones or iPads must be unlocked to connect to an accessory or computer; Mac laptops with Apple silicon additionally require explicit approval from the user.
- Wireless connections: Devices won’t automatically join non-secure Wi-Fi networks.
- Configuration profiles: Configuration profiles cannot be installed and the device cannot be enrolled in Mobile Device Management.
While updating to the latest OS is recommended for security, it can sometimes break your existing workflows if your vendors don’t offer same-day compatibility. iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 have already seen a number of updates — it can be hard to keep up.
Enrolling in beta programs and testing with these betas can help organizations ensure their workflows remain intact. Jamf offered same-day compatibility with Apple's latest operating systems (and has since 2012); testing your infrastructure with the latest Apple and Jamf betas can ensure seamless updates on the release date without affecting productivity. Join the Apple beta program or the Jamf beta program, available in Jamf Account.
Stay productive and secure on release day with Jamf.
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