Another day, another CEO from a "security software" company pens a "guest editorial" saying Apple needs to open up to — guess what? — "security software".
Just like the last time, the premise is self-serving, the headline spit-take inducing, and it's absolutely not worth rewarding negative attention seeking with attention. But because every time something like this posted, we get contacted by concerned readers, some of the fear-mongering needs to once again be addressed.
The CEO starts off by saying iPhone and iPad owners aren't concerned enough about the safety of their devices, despite the "constant news" of hacks and online security breaches. That might be because almost all of the "constant news" pertains not at all to the vast majority of iOS customers — the ones who don't jailbreak, use pirated app stores, or accept untrusted apps.
Ludicrously, the CEO claims to see the same trend in mobile — though not specifically iOS — as plagued PCs during the 90s and 00s. App Store review gets blamed for being to "human", customers get blamed for being too dumb to tell cracked apps and clones from the real thing, and Apple and developers get blamed for failing to prevent apps from running on insecure jailbroken devices which are, apparently, popular with users.
And that's when the punchline for all the fear-mongering hits — Apple isn't up to the job of protecting us from all this scary stuff, so they need to open up and allow third-part security solutions on iOS to protect us for them.
It's blatantly self-serving misinformation that should never be published in a legitimate context without a giant "THIS IS ADVERTISING" sign on top of it. In Neon.
iOS devices represent a huge untapped market for "security vendors", though, and some of them will likely do anything they can, including trying to scare Apple's customers, in an attempt to pressure Apple into opening up the platform for unnecessary "security software" that may just as likely make us all less secure. Doors open both ways, after all.
All the sensationalism and all the noise also creates another problem — it distracts from the real security issues facing iOS and other mobile platforms. These include everything from finding and patching exploits to figuring out how to stop enterprise certificate abuse to helping customers use things like Touch ID and avoid social engineering attacks that seek to strip them of the built-in security Apple provides.
Apple knows all this, of course, and has made both security and privacy a top-down, top-tied, competitive feature for its platform.
Publications can help, but not through 'advertorial' fear-mongering. They can help by informing and empowering readers with real information that lets them better use all the existing security features at their disposal and avoid the pirate app sites and other vectors for attack.
That might not sell third party "security software", but it will legitimately make everyone safer.