Hey, IT Guy! Apple iPhone is coming to your network whether you like it or not

“iPhone. Whether enterprises are prepared or not, it has arrived,” Brian Prince reports for eWeek.

“It is only natural that IT organizations shiver at the thought of the iPhone endangering their networks, but they will have few options to block its entrance to the enterprise and no recourse but to prepare for it, said Andrew Jaquith, an analyst at Yankee Group,” Prince reports. “‘Regardless of the bloviating prognostications of analysts, journalists or other talking heads—this one included—early-adopter employees and status-seeking managers will smuggle the iPhone…into enterprises of all sizes,’ he said.”

“‘Because of the iPhone’s enterprise suitability—not in spite of it—these employees will place increasing pressure on IT groups to support e-mail, calendaring and intranet application interfaces that work with the iPhone.’ Enterprises can choose to support the iPhone by using open standards for e-mail access, and by configuring their VPN to work with the iPhone’s VPN client, Jaquith said,” Prince reports. “‘Not supporting the iPhone is an option too, but frankly in my view the security issues are not that significant,’ he said.”

Prince reports, “Jaquith said that many of the security worries raised by critics of the iPhone have been exaggerated. ‘Let’s look at the facts. Internet-capable phones have much smaller attack surfaces than desktops,’ he said. ‘Moreover, the iPhone has a much smaller attack surface than the smart phone operating systems it has been often compared with, such as Windows Mobile. The iPhone has no open TCP/IP ports, no removable media, no USB drive functions, no Bluetooth services other than audio, no file system access and no supported native third-party APIs or SDK. If you can’t run third-party code on it, you can’t run hostile code on it either.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Essence” for the heads up.]

37 Comments

  1. They are afraid of losing control.
    They are afraid of someone making it easy.
    They are afraid that something might plug and play.

    They are afraid management will find out that IT has been recommending hardware/software “solutions” for years that require constant tweaking, fiddling and patching for no reason other than to ensure IT has a position of power and continued job security.

    They are afraid management will find out there are real solutions that would allow IT staff to be cut in half.

    They are very very afraid of anything that just works.

    That is why they love Microsoft so much. MS has never made anything that just works.

  2. “I don’t get it… What are people afraid of?”

    IT guys are afraid of what they don’t know..
    I am one of them, and I am frustrated that I have to use windows and support windows because the iIT ignorants on the corporate offices do not know how to use any other computer besides windows computer, so we at the local support have to deal with the millions of problems with windows.. the good part is that I have a Mac in my house..

  3. Thats nice, but without ActiveSync support, the IT guy can’t really do anything for us iPhone users. It’s nut just email sync that I need for the office. Need calendar, contacts also through Exchange. Out IT guys are okay with iPhone, but IMAP is not enough.

  4. Has any malware caused any damage on any phone anywhere? The iPod and iPhone are more secure than other phones. The iPod and iPhone can be updated with security patches virtually every day if needs be.

    Yes you can steal secret files on any USB jump drive.

    Yes you can bring malware into a closed system on any USB jump drive.

    Ban USB jump drives, I dare you.

    If your Windows machines are unprotected you deserve to have them infected, no matter how the infection gets in.

  5. The Safari threat is very real.

    THe phone can be hacked to add almost any app that can be compiled against the toolchain the bright folks that have been guzzling caffiene since they got their paws on a phone have created.

    Hate to say it, concerning the “no third party apps can be installed” concept, but security through obscurity hasn’t worked for “other” OS vendors, and it won’t work for Apple either.

    That being said, ‘ll be attending Black Hat with my iPhone and checking out the presentation that is suppose to divulge the details of the attack vector that Apple has been informed of (and will hopefully fix with an update just prior to).

    Before ayone screams about you having to join an untrusted network or be stupid enough to click on an unknown link, please remember that the weakest link in ANY system is the link between the brain and the touchscreen (in this case).

    With that many sold, there are going to be some idiots and scene whores that are brain dead enough to do just that without a second thought.

    That’s it, let the abuse begin…

  6. IT guys are not afraid of the iPhone.
    Get over that stereotype. It’s as much a stupid stereotype as calling Mac users cultish, though lately we’re looking more and more like a cult willing to forgive anything Apple does.

    As an IT guy I have a budget. I have x number of support people per computer user. I have these people trained to support a fixed number of products. If every Jane, Dick, and Harry runs out, and buys whatever mobile device they want, it’s freaking chaos.

    I’m an independent consultant. I can’t begin to relate to you the sheer number of dumbass iPhone calls I’m getting from clients every freaking day.

    IT guy don’t have time for that crap, let alone the security issues, and face it, the iPhone is not a secur device (yet).

    If I were back to being an IT Director with say 10 guys for a thousand users, I’d tell people we don’t support the iPhone, or for that matter 99% of all the other smartphones out there. We probably have a whole Blackberry infrastructure set up and that’s what we support.

    If you buy an Iphone, great, let me play with it! But don’t expect official support from IT or access to corporate services with it, (not that it could do it anyway.)

    The freaking phone is less than a month released.

  7. I denied my first request to allow an iPhone to sync with our corporate Exchange server. As a Mac & Apple fan, it pained me to do it.

    It had absolutely nothing to do with fear, but because I have no way to lock it down for HIPAA compliance (an important part of my company’s industry). The same can not be said of Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices. When Apple develops an administrator’s toolkit, it might be a different story. Unfortunately, it’s not there yet.

  8. Better word: “Leopard”

    Actually Leopard Server. With Leopard comes a completely redesigned colaboration suite in Mail, long overdue iCal Server and a new ore-confined Wiki-Server. These three elements will go a long way towards relieving the lack of Exchange functionality in Mac environments. With that in place communication and even syncing between Exchange and these new Mac collaboration tools shouldn’t be far behind.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.