Apple indigo hat BSI-Zulassung erhalten

Im Oktober 2022 hat das Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) die Sicherheitseigenschaften von Apple iOS und iPadOS bestätigt. Die Zertifizierung läuft unter dem Namen indigo (iOS native devices in government operation). Apple indigo ermöglicht die sichere und native Nutzung von iPhones und iPads im behördlichen Umfeld und ist für die Nutzung bis hin zur Klassifizierungsstufe “Verschlusssache – nur für den dienstlichen Gebrauch” (VS-NfD) zugelassen. Knapp 20 Monate nach der Pressemeldung des BSI hat Apple indigo am 18. Juni 2024 eine Zulassung erhalten. Damit hat Apple einen wichtigen Meilenstein für den Einsatz von iPhones und iPads in deutschen Bundesbehörden erreicht. 

Neben den erlaubten iPhone- bzw. iPad-Modellen und einer der zugelassenen VPN-Lösungen benötigt man für Apple indigo ein passendes Mobile Device Management (MDM). Das MDM kann entweder im Brightsite- oder Darksite-Modus betrieben werden. Aktuell gibt es noch kein für den sogenannten Brightsite-Einsatz zertifiziertes MDM. Es befinden sich zwei Anbieter im Zertifizierungsprozess. Diese MDM-Lösungen können vor Abschluss des Zertifizierungsprozesses zur Verwaltung der Apple indigo Endgeräte verwendet werden. Für das Darksite-Setup, das für indigo eher selten zum Einsatz kommt, wird keine BSI-Zertifizierung benötigt. Für die Brightsite-MDMs wird die Zertifizierung benötigt. Mit meinem Arbeitgeber sind wir im BSI-Zertifizierungsprozess für unsere MDM-Lösung BlackBerry UEM. Das Apple indigo Ökosystem kann um zugelassene Apps erweitert werden. Die Apps sind dann notwendig, wenn man Nutzungsszenarien hat, die nicht von den zugelassenen Apple Apps Kalender, Kontakte & Mail abgedeckt sind. Im Kontext von Apple indigo darf z.B. Safari nicht auf dienstliche Ressourcen zugreifen. Das macht den Einsatz von Drittanbieter-Webbrowsern notwendig. Zurzeit gibt es zwei zugelassene Webbrowser. Einer dieser Browser ist SecuFox von Secusmart.

Wer sich zum Thema Apple indigo und kompatiblem MDM austauschen möchte, kann mich gerne kontaktieren. Im Kontext von Apple indigo habe ich schon einige Proof of Concepts mit unserer Lösung zur Verwaltung mobiler Endgeräte, BlackBerry UEM, umgesetzt.

Apple Business Manager: Disable Activation Lock

Organizations providing iPhones and iPads to employees can sometimes encounter a hurdle: returned devices with Activation Lock still enabled. This prevents assigning the device to a new user. Disabling Activation Lock can be inconvenient, especially if:

  • The device is locked with a personal Apple Account (not the company account).
  • The device wasn’t enrolled in a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.

Solutions based on MDM enrollment

  • Supervised MDM devices: If the device was enrolled in an MDM as a supervised device, your MDM solution likely offers a bypass code to remove Activation Lock.
  • Contacting Apple (limited success): You can also contact Apple, proving ownership and purchase of the device. However, this method isn’t foolproof.

Simplified removal with Apple Business Manager

Fortunately, Apple has streamlined Activation Lock removal for organizations using Apple Business Manager. Now, you can disable Activation Lock even on devices not enrolled in MDM, as long as they are registered with Apple Business Manager. In the Apple Business Manager device view you now have the option to select “Turn Off Activation Lock”. As far as I am aware, the feature was turned on today for my Apple Business Manager account. I know plenty of my customers who will be very happy about this feature. Turning off activation lock will work for all device types enrolled in Apple Business Manager, including Macs, iPod Touch devices and Apple Watch. All users in Apple Business Manager with a role that has Manage Device privileges can turn Activation Lock off.

Use your iPad as an external HDMI monitor

iPad Pro 11″ as an external HDMI monitor

When I travel, I frequently have the need for a second monitor. My work laptop (not pictured) is running on Windows 11. Therefore I cannot make use of Apple’s Sidecar feature.

I used to have an external monitor that connects via USB C & HDMI to my laptop similar to this one. Unfortunately, I cracked the screen. I was about to order a replacement, when I came across an application called Capture Pro which was rebranded to Genki Studio recently. Genki Studio can display USB Video Device Class (UVC) input on your iPad and labels itself as a “UVC Viewer” in the App Store.

This is not the first post by Abdelkader Boui. He works as Principal Sales Engineer at BlackBerry. This job title does not do the breadth and width of his knowledge any justice. Messaging, mobile device management, policies, zero trust, he knows it all.

If I break things and can’t put them back together I ask Abdelkader.

Volker Weber

With iPadOS 17.x Apple introduced the support for USB Video Device Class. Support for UVC allows you to connect external USB video devices, e.g. webcams and USB capture cards, to your iPad and iPhone. This allows you to make use of external webcams and use them in apps like FaceTime. Another use case is to turn your iPad into an HDMI monitor. There are USB dongles like the Elgato Cam Link 4K that can turn “HDMI input” into “USB output” – in our case UVC. Which in turn can then be displayed in the Genki Studio app. Using the Genki Studio app and the Elgato Cam Link 4K I can now turn my iPad Pro 11″ into an external HDMI monitor.

I have used this setup with both Windows and macOS. It also works with other devices that have an HDMI output. I have been using this setup for the past few weeks with no issues.

Connect the Elgato Cam Link 4K to your iPad using USB C

All you need to connect the laptop to the Elgato Cam Link 4K is an HDMI cable. As the Cam Link is an USB A device, you will need an USB A to C adapter to connect it to the iPad. I usually use this USB A to C adapter from Apple. To keep the iPad powered, I am using the USB C port on the left side of the Apple Magic Keyboard. If you don’t have the Magic Keyboard, you could use any USB C port replicator with at least one USB A port and one USB C port for power in, e.g. Apple’s USB C multiport adapter, to keep the Elgato dongle connected and the iPad powered. With 109,- Euro the Elgato Cam Link 4K is rather expensive. If you want to go the cheap route, you can get cheap clones for 6 Euro from Amazon. For this use case they work the same as the Elgato Cam Link 4K.

There is also another app in Apple’s App Store that can turn your iPad into an external HDMI screen: HDMI Monitor – Orion. I have briefly tested that app and the basic features seem to be almost identical to the ones from Genki Studio.

Apple Platform Security – May 2021

Apple has released an updated version of their Platform Security document. If you want to understand how security works on any of the Apple platforms, the document is worth a read.

This documentation provides details about how security technology and features are implemented within Apple platforms. It also helps organizations combine Apple platform security technology and features with their own policies and procedures to meet their specific security needs.

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