Apple iOS Data Protection and E-mail Backup Security
Several confusion factors are still present on the Apple iOS platform, and now with the iOS 4.2 upgrade finally available to the Apple iPad, and iOS 4.3 perhaps hot in the heels I thought I would attempt to clear a few of them up..
iOS Data Protection
In most enterprises it is mandatory setting that there must be a PIN code on any type of device. On Apple iOS devices this is no exception for most and with even better reason. When this is enabled the built-in encryption for the iPhone 3GS or later, iPod 3Rd Generation or later, and iPad it ensures that the device is fully encrypted and that is can fully protect the data.
This is the main Apple article that references the “Data protection” settings:
Please note that it also highlights the need to perform a clean restore (and force a re-write of the file system) on a iOS 3.x device when upgrading them to iOS 4.x. Some Mobile Device Management (MDM) products, such as MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP), will detect if this has not occurred.
For more even more detailed information you can see Session 209, "Securing Application Data", in the WWDC 2010 videos. You can register for free to access them and download them via iTunes..
E-Mail Backup Security
Another confusion point I have heard from several customers is the fact that iTunes will also back up and store the corporate e-mail off the iOS devices. This is incorrect.
In both of these Apple articles see the “iTunes will back up the following information” section:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766 - iPhone/iPod
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4079 - iPad
Both state that the “Microsoft Exchange account configurations.” and “Mail accounts.” are included in backup, but nothing about the e-mail data itself. No e-mail information will be copied from the devices, just their e-mail account configurations. However “Calendar events.” are listed as being copied. But I’m not sure if that means e-mail account based calendar events or other locally stored events..