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Apple Siri, Banned from IBM’s Internal Networks

Source: Siri on iPhone 4S/ Apple

Due to security reasons, IBM has banned the use of Apple Siri from its corporate networks. Apparently, the voice application needs to send its data to Apple in order to be converted to text. As stated on the iPhone maker’s Software License Agreement:

“By using Siri or Dictation, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its subsidiaries’ and agents’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing, and use of this information, including your voice input and User Data, to provide and improve Siri, Dictation, and other Apple products and services.”

Thus, the feature raises concern for the technology and consultation company.

Barring Siri and iCloud in IBM

IBM’s Chief Information Officer Jeanette Horan said that they made the decision due to concerns that the Siri data could be stored somewhere on Apple’s servers. She also admitted that they are “extraordinarily conservative” when it comes to their security because that is the nature of their business.

Other than the voice application, the company also barred the use of iCloud in their internal servers. Apple’s cloud service could be used to back up documents and data remotely. Because of this, IBM encouraged their employees to use the company-hosted club service, MyMobileHub.

Configuring Employee-owned Devices

They surveyed hundreds of their employees and found out that many were unaware of what mobile applications could pose security risk. In addition, the company also discovered that some of their workers were violating the protocol by automatically forwarding their iBM email to public Web mail services. That is why they’ve established guidelines of which apps can IBM employees use and which they should avoid.

However, their policies when it comes to applications and servers are not limited to Apple. Dropbox, a third-party file transfer service has also been banned as the company trends toward employee-owned devices.

In fact, IBM’s so-called “consumerization” of corporate devices hasn’t saved the company any money. According to Horan, because of all the security challenges that they are facing, they have to configure employee-owned devices so that no confidential data will leak out. This includes remotely wiping off the data in case a device is lost or stolen.

 

Apple started expanding its enterprise support for its iOS mobile operating system when iOS 2.0 was released in 2008. They have added Exchange Server compatibility and other known corporate protocols that time. In 2009, they’ve updated the Find My iPhone feature with remote wipe functionality. This enhances the security of devices for both consumers and employees.

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