Many Apple devices in the enterprise are poorly secured, unmanaged

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Apple devices are gaining in popularity in the enterprise, particularly because of their reputation for being more secure than more popular Android devices.

But that reputation for security has been called in question by recent news of vulnerabilities uncovered in iOS, such as the Quicksand zero-day vulnerabilities.

The latest news to challenge the security bona fides of Apple devices is a survey of 2,249 U.S. workers by Dimensional Research and released Monday by Centrify. The survey found management and security shortcomings when it comes to Apple device use in the enterprise.

Around 45 percent of respondents said they use at least one Apple device at work, and a majority of those devices are used to access sensitive data and business applications. A full 63 percent of those devices are personally owned.

Yet, more than half of those devices are only secured by a password that is a single word or series of numbers. A majority of devices do not have software installed to enforce strong passwords, and a majority of users report sharing their passwords with others.

Only 28 percent of Apple devices have company-provided device management solutions installed, and only 17 percent have a company-supplied password manager. One-third of Apple devices have encryption of stored data enforced by their company.

"Centrify's Apple survey spotlights the massive exposures that occur when devices do not comply with standard corporate security policies," said Bill Mann, senior vice president of products and marketing, Centrify.

"In particular, customer data represents a huge liability. Disclosure of regulated information such as healthcare records could expose corporations to fines and other legal action," he added.

Of course, Centrify has an interest in highlighting Apple security and device management shortcomings because it offers an enterprise platform to secure and manage Apple devices. Still, the results of the survey involving a decent sample size suggest that Apple devices are not necessarily the most secure devices when it comes to enterprise use.

For more:
- Read the survey

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