Apple has released iOS 17.3 with a new security feature, Stolen Device Protection, adding a layer of security if an iPhone is ever stolen.
With this update, if an iPhone is away from certain locations such as home or work, additional requirements such as Security Delay are enabled to prevent critical changes from being made on the device.
Michael Covington, vice president of Portfolio Strategy at Apple security company, Jamf, strongly suggests users enable this new feature. He says that Apple’s new Stolen Device Protection feature adds privilege escalation to the iPhone by requiring a user’s biometric confirmation before allowing certain sensitive commands to be carried out. Features like this are important as increasing amounts of personal and business data are processed by mobile devices.
“Without multiple layers of protection, thieves would be able to access a user’s entire digital life, from personal photos to bank accounts and emails, just with a PIN code, which is easily observed when the phone is used in public spaces,” Covington says. “Stolen Device Protection uses the well-established security principle of ‘trust but verify’ to add additional checks before performing sensitive functions on the device. The commands that require identity verification under the Stolen Device Protection feature include erasing the iPhone, utilizing Apple Wallet and accessing and changing passwords, which prevents criminals from locking the user out of their accounts and stealing sensitive information from any number of apps.”