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That Man Isn’t Who You Think He Is

May 20, 2016

I may have been slightly, okay more than slightly, I just might have, okay, I was wrong about who was at fault.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about security called “Hey Apple, That’s Not Security – That’s Insanity.” I complained loudly about how Apple forced me to change the passcode on my iPad and it actually harmed my security rather than helped it. The post got shared a couple of times and sparked some interesting discussions.

One of the great things about writing this blog is that I get to share some of my 30 years of IT experience with some people who maybe are not as familiar with the industry. The other great thing, is that my friends, who are smarter than me, read and comment. That’s what happened yesterday. 

My friend David Madison pointed out that he has had an iPad for years and Apple has never forced him to reset his passcode. He suggested that the real culprit might lie elsewhere. And the real culprit was particularly ironic given mine and Dave’s history. 

About 25 years ago, I left WordPerfect Corporation to go to work for Microsoft. Dave was one of the first people I met in my new role as a Gateways specialist in the Microsoft Mail Support team. Dave and I both left Microsoft in the ensuing two and a half decades, but thanks to Facebook, we still keep in touch. Dave suggested that if my iPad had my corporate email on it, it was probably governed by a Mobile Device Management process. MDM allows a corporation to ensure compliance with corporate security policy when employees can “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD.) 

The iPad is my personal device, but I do get my corporate email on it. And we do have an MDM process. And it required me to put a passcode. The email system that we use is Exchange. I have Outlook on my laptop, but I added my Exchange mailbox to the Mail app on the iPad. 

The MDM policy is based on the email security policy. So, the real culprit in yesterday’s rant was not Apple, but the maker of our email system. The same company that Dave and I worked for all those years ago. 

So, my corporate security team and Microsoft Exchange required me to reset my passcode. It’s still not a way of improving security, but neither is it Apple’s problem. 

Sorry, Apple. My bad. Or rather, Microsoft’s. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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