Another day, another CEO from a “security software” company pens a “guest editorial” saying Apple needs to open up to — guess what? — “security software”.
Just like the last time, the premise is self-serving, the headline spit-take inducing, and it’s absolutely not worth rewarding negative attention seeking with attention. But because every time something like this posted, we get contacted by concerned readers, some of the fear-mongering needs to once again be addressed.
The CEO starts off by saying iPhone and iPad owners aren’t concerned enough about the safety of their devices, despite the “constant news” of hacks and online security breaches. That might be because almost all of the “constant news” pertains not at all to the vast majority of iOS customers — the ones who don’t jailbreak, use pirated app stores, or accept untrusted apps.
Ludicrously, the CEO claims to see the same trend in mobile — though not specifically iOS — as plagued PCs during the 90s and 00s. App Store review gets blamed for being to “human”, customers get blamed for being too dumb to tell cracked apps and clones from the real thing, and Apple and developers get blamed for failing to prevent apps from running on insecure jailbroken devices which are, apparently, popular with users.
And that when the punchline for all the fear-mongering hits — Apple isn’t up to the job of protecting us from all this scary stuff, so they need to open up and allow third-part security solutions on iOS.
It’s probably fairer to say iOS devices is a huge untapped market and “security vendors” will do anything they can, including trying to scare Apple’s customers, in an attempt to pressure Apple into opening up the platform for unnecessary, likely problematic “security software”.
There are real security issues facing iOS and every platform. Apple knows that and has made security, along with privacy, a top tier, customer-facing feature as of late. Handling things like enterprise certificate abuse and the kinds of social engineering attacks that attempt to get customers to strip off protection and install malware are touch problems to solve.
Part of the solution isn’t ‘advertorial’ fear-mongering but informing and empowering people with real information and helping them better use all the existing security features at their disposal.
That might not sell third part security software, but it will legitimately make everyone safer.