Image via Apple.com

Image via Apple.com

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 8, is making waves by implementing new, enterprise-targeted features, but without a comprehensive understanding of how the technology works, employees could put sensitive company data at risk. Here are three key features that employers need to watch out for in the workplace and suggested steps to shore up security holes.

Unified file storage in iCloud Drive
iOS 8 will add a new feature to the operating system: the ability to open and store documents of any kind. Documents are automatically uploaded to iCloud by default and accessible on any device that shares an iOS account. That means that every file from an Excel spreadsheet to a PowerPoint presentation will find its way into the cloud. These documents are then made accessible on all devices sharing the same Apple ID, so third parties like immediate and extended family members could unintentionally be granted access to sensitive information. Employers should consider discouraging this behavior by restricting access to documents via a secure file-sharing and collaboration tool.

Application-level access to stored documents of any kind
Once documents are in the cloud, iOS 8 now allows apps to directly interface with them. Companies should be aware that unapproved apps could open and alter sensitive information, or store it in a separate cloud-based storage or collaboration solution. The challenge could prove too difficult for employees to manage, and in many cases, they might not be aware that an application is even accessing a document. Managing this feature successfully will entail educating employees on the feature and how to avoid uploading sensitive documents to publicly accessible social networks or cloud-based, third-party servers.

Improved Messages integrated across devices
Apple has added new features to its popular Messages platform, including location sharing and voice messages. Combined with better integration for non-iOS users, these features have the potential to boost productivity among employees seeking to quickly share feedback or leave messages on the go. As with all iOS data, these messages are backed up to the cloud and shared among all devices with the same Apple ID. Make sure sensitive work conversations are kept out of the chat room and on secure work servers.

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