With features like iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys for Apple ID, and Apple new Data Protection for iCloud, users now have access to vital new tools to safeguard their most sensitive data and communications. By releasing three new security features today that are geared at preventing assaults on user data in the cloud, Apple has taken the next step in its ongoing effort to provide customers with even better options for protecting their data. Users may ensure they are only exchanging messages with those they want to by using iMessage Contact Key Verification.
Using Security Keys for Apple ID, users can choose whether or not a physical security key is required to sign in to their Apple ID account. Users can also choose to use Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, which uses end-to-end encryption to ensure Apple’s highest level of cloud data protection, to further secure important iCloud data, including iCloud Backup, Photos, Notes, and more. These new features join a collection of other security measures that make Apple products the most secure on the market, including best-in-class device encryption and data protections built directly into our custom chips, as well as functions like Lockdown Mode, which offers an extreme, optional level of security for users like journalists, human rights activists, and diplomats.
Apple is committed to improving security on devices and in the cloud and to providing new measures on a regular basis. We at Apple are unwavering in our commitment to provide the highest level of data security possible to our consumers. The business “is constantly identifying and resolving emerging threats to consumers’ data on devices and in the cloud,” according to Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple. With iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys, and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, consumers will have three strong new tools to further protect their most sensitive data and communications, according to Apple. To keep user data secure, our security teams put forth an unrelenting effort.
iMessage Contact Key Verification
Apple established the benchmark for end-to-end encryption in consumer communication services with the launch of iMessage, ensuring that messages could only be read by the sender and recipients. FaceTime has employed encryption to protect the privacy of conversations since it launched. In order to further guarantee that they are chatting exclusively with the individuals they want, users who face major online threats, including as journalists, human rights activists, and government officials, can now use iMessage Contact Key Verification. Although the vast majority of users will never be the victims of extremely sophisticated assaults, those who are will greatly benefit from the function’s added security.
Conversations between users who have activated iMessage Contact Key Verification are automatically informed if a highly competent adversary, such as a state-sponsored attacker, ever succeeds in getting access to cloud servers and inserting their own device to eavesdrop on these encrypted chats. In order to increase security even further, users of the iMessage Contact Key Verification function can also compare a contact verification code face-to-face, over FaceTime, or via another secure connection.
Apple introduced two-factor authentication for Apple ID in 2015. With more than 95% of active iCloud accounts using this security, it is presently the most widely used two-factor account security solution in the world that we are aware of. Thanks to security keys, users now have the choice to increase this security by using independent hardware security keys. This program is designed for people like celebrities, journalists, and public figures who routinely encounter targeted threats to their online accounts as a result of their public personas.
Security keys enhance Apple’s two-factor authentication by requiring a hardware security key as one of the two requirements for users who choose to participate. As a result, our two-factor authentication is strengthened, and even the most skilled attackers are stopped from obtaining the second factor through phishing scams.
iCloud Advanced Data Protection
With Data Protection, the advanced file encryption system built into the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple has long offered the finest data protection in the market on its products. Apple produces mobile gadgets that are the safest. “And now, we are expanding on that strong foundation,” said Ivan Krsti, Apple’s head of security engineering and architecture. The highest level of cloud data security offered by Apple is referred to as “Advanced Data Protection,” which gives users the choice to completely encrypt all of their most sensitive iCloud data so that only their trusted devices may decrypt it. Even in the event of a cloud data breach, Advanced Data Protection maintains the bulk of iCloud data private for customers who choose to participate. iCloud already secures 14 distinct categories of sensitive data by default using end-to-end encryption, including passwords in iCloud Keychain and medical information.
Users that select Advanced Data Protection have a total of 23 data types safeguarded using end-to-end encryption, including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos. The only significant iCloud data types that are not covered are iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar due to the requirement for interoperability with the national email, contacts, and calendar systems. The critical need for better protection for customers’ data in the cloud is illustrated by a new analysis of data breach studies published today, The Rising Threat to Consumer Data in the Cloud. Experts estimate that 1.1 billion personal records were exposed globally in 2021 alone due to a more than twofold increase in data breaches between 2013 and 2021. Businesses in the technology sector are using end-to-end encryption increasingly frequently as a defense against this growing threat.
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