The past year has witnessed a surge in sophisticated cyberattacks targeting high profile figures such as government leaders, journalists, activists, and business leaders. A prime example is NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. This is being rolled out around the world and highlights the serious threats faced by such individuals.
What can top-level leaders do to protect themselves and their organizations from these growing risks? Apple recently announced a solution that can help: Apple Lockdown Mode. This tool is the first to offer advanced protection to users at risk of targeted attacks from Pegasus and similarly advanced spyware. Apple Lockdown Mode works by increasing your defenses and limiting device features that might pose a risk.
For example, it blocks attachments and link previews in messages, and disables some web browser features. It also blocks incoming FaceTime and other requests from people you haven’t contacted before, wired connections to your computer, and installation of new configuration profiles. It’s important to understand that to achieve the highest level of device protection, you have to make functional compromises.
Apple Lockdown Mode is a tool that helps protect specific users from targeted attacks. However, it is not a solution to protect regular users from today’s various threats. The reality is that most of the risks facing individuals and organizations today can be prevented with a comprehensive device management and monitoring strategy without significantly compromising device functionality. Apple itself is aware of this, calling the lockdown tool “very optional” and stating that most people will never need this extreme level of protection in their lives. increase.
These highly targeted attacks are rare, so most managed service providers (MSPs) don’t need to deploy his Apple lockdown mode. Instead, we should continue to focus on helping organizations build broader security strategies that include device management and monitoring to ensure all users are protected, whether they are public figures or not. . Additionally, MSPs should consider the specific device management capabilities they can offer for Apple devices. This often requires special administrative functions for customers.
If you need Apple Lockdown Mode, you can access it from iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Apple plans to continue expanding the tool’s capabilities over time, introducing new categories in its Apple Security Bounty program to reward those who find ways to circumvent its protections (up to 2,000,000 with USD bounty).
As cyber threats continue to grow, MSPs have a great opportunity to prove their worth as trusted advisors by helping their customers find the best ways to protect their devices. This may or may not include Apple Lockdown Mode, but should include instructions on how to formulate an overall strategy to protect her Apple devices for all users. In this way, MSPs can ensure that their customers are protected from all possible situations and threats they may face.