Apple @ Work: Managed Pasteboard in iOS 15 continues the options of securing corporate data


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The line between personal and work devices has blurred. Even in situations where you have a corporate-owned laptop, you might still use your iPad or iPhone to get your email on the go or access company documents for reviewing away from your computer. Managed Open In and Managed Pasteboard are the ideal solutions for IT departments to enable users to be productive wherever they are while also protecting company assets.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.

For IT departments looking to allow end users to use their personal devices to access company resources, enrolling those devices into an MDM using managed Apple IDs might make sense .

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 introduced a new streamlined User Enrollment process integrated into the Settings app to make it easier for users to enroll their personal devices into a company’s MDM solution.

In iOS’s Setting app, under General > VPN & Device Management, you’ll see a “Sign in to Work or School Account” button. When a user enters their managed Apple ID, their device automatically connects to the company’s MDM. Once a user signs in, the new managed Apple ID is displayed within the Settings app. Users can see further information about what is being managed on their personal device and how much iCloud storage space the organization provides to each managed Apple ID.

Once devices are enrolled, Managed Pasteboard and Managed Open In become two critical ways to manage company data.

Managed Pasteboard

Using the Managed Pasteboard helps control the copying and pasting of content from a company app using Open In management. Apple’s apps that work with the controlled managed pasteboard include Files, Mail, Calendar, and Notes. Non-Apple apps are governed based on whether or not that app is managed or not. When users run into a situation where they cannot paste from a managed app to an unmanaged app, they will get a Paste Not Allowed notice. This feature is new with iOS 15.

Managed Open In

IT administrators can Apple’s Managed Open In restrictions allows you to pick from multiple options to protect corporate data stored inside of managed apps.

The first option is to allow documents from unmanaged sources in managed destinations. Enforcing this restriction helps prevent users’ personal sources and accounts from opening documents in corporately managed destinations. For example, this restriction prevents users from opening a PDF from a random website on Safari in a managed PDF app.

The second option allows documents from managed sources in unmanaged destinations. Using this restriction helps prevent an organization’s managed sources and accounts from opening documents in a user’s personal destinations. For example, this restriction prevents a corporate email attachment from a managed email account from being opened in a non-managed app.

Wrap up

Apple has continued making investments to help IT administrators secure devices and companies while allowing end users to use their personal devices to check email, access resources, etc. The new features with iOS 15 let users sign in with their company-managed Apple IDs while keeping their personal data private.

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