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iPad Security - Keep Docs From Being Removed

899 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2013 10:14 AM by rccharles RSS
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MikeB4424 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 25, 2013 7:19 AM

Hi all, I'm currently trying to develop a corporate solution that basically uses an iPad as a glorified e-reader. One of the reasons that my organization chose the iPad was due to sensitivity of the data we are storing. The iPads have been physically modified to this end, including having the microphones, wireless, bluetooth and camera removed/disabled. We've locked down most settings using iPhone Configuration Utility profile and enabled most of the built-in restrictions through the iPad settings.

 

We've installed Adobe Reader and use a third party application to load pdf documents directly to the Adobe app. The issue we are now trying to solve, involves preventing users from transferring these pdfs to any other pc's or devices.

 

I've discovered that I can connect the iPad to a different, unauthorized PC and, although they cannot sync to iTunes, it is seen and if I go to the "Apps", I can go to Adobe and save folders to this new PC. This poses a problem for us and I'm trying to find a solution.

 

Suggestions?

 

Thanks, Mike

iPad 2, iOS 6.1.3
  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 7:26 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    I do not know definitely, but it should be worth exploring this option.

     

    Uninstall Adobe Reader.  Instead of that, put the PDFs into the computer's iTunes as 'books'.  You can do this with files in PDF format, you don't need to change the format.  These books should be synced with the iPads in the next sync session.

     

    Then try to see if you can do the things you don't want users to do.

  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 7:50 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    Okay.  I think your best bet, if you're using particular software, is to contact whoever makes that software and ask them your question.

  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 9:06 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    It may be that you misunderstand how data is held on an iPad.  Data files for an app on an iPad are not organised as files in the user's home folder which all Apps have access to.  Each app stores its own files in its own way, and only that app can get at those files: I cannot use one iPad app to read a file which belonged to another iPad app, each app can see only its own files.

     

    It is up to the programmer for each app to decide how to hold its files (in this case PDFs) and whether to make it possible to copy those files onto a computer.  The person who wrote the software you're using decided how that app makes its files available.  The person who wrote iTunes gets to decide how iTunes makes its files available.

     

    You will find that it's impossible to copy an iTunes book off of an iPad onto a computer.  There's no user interface feature which shows you the books and lets you copy them.  Nowhere you can 'drag' the file onto your hard disk, no 'Save As' button to press.  Try it yourself, I bet you can't find a way to do it.  So PDFs stored as iTunes books are locked down and cannot be copied off of the iPad, just how you want.

     

    However you are using another piece of software and the programmers of that software have chosen to make it possible to copy those PDFs onto a computer.  So I think you might talk to the programmers of whatever software you're using and find out whether they have a setting, or can change the way their App works, so that data files (PDFs) used by that app can't be copied off of the device.

  • Simon Slavin Level 4 Level 4 (1,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 9:46 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    I suggest you contact MacroPlant and discuss your problem with them.  They have a sensible web site and seem to care about support.

     

    Don't worry about picking things up slowly.  It's easy to get an iPad and think it's just another computer and that it can be treated like a Windows computer.  You're having to learn a whole new kind of gadget.

     

    It's worth noting here that Adobe/Acrobat Reader is needed only for Windows computers.  Both Macs and iDevices come with Apple's own software which can read PDFs.  Apple users would normally not consider installing Adobe's own software.  So this is a non-standard avenue you have chosen to go down.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 11:11 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    Are you using Supervised mode?  This puts a lot of restrictions on.  One is to only sync with the installing itunes.

     

    There are three ownership models. I'd think you would want instituion. :

     

    •     Personal
    •     Institution
    •     Layered. combines personal & institution.

     

    http://www.apple.com/education/resources/videos/#ios-institutional-ownership

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------

     

    There appear to be open source PDF readers for the iPad.

    https://github.com/schwa/iOS-PDF-Reader

    Change it how you want.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Have you looked at Divide?

     

    http://www.divide.com/

     

    Divide seems to be an all in one application.  You do everything inside divide.  It has all the corporate security you will need.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------

     

    IT Resources -- ios & OS X -- This is a fantastic web page.  I like the education site over the business site.

    View documentation, video tutorials, and web pages to help IT professionals develop and deploy education solutions.

    http://www.apple.com/education/resources/information-technology.html

     

        business site is:

        http://www.apple.com/lae/ipad/business/resources/

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 4:16 PM (in response to MikeB4424)

    Well, does your boss want to secure the device?

     

    you might be able to hack profile and turn on supervisor mode.  Look and see if you can turn on supervisor mode from GUI.

     

    Get lots of hd storage on your mac. People are complaining of runnng out of hd space with a macbook air.

     

    Mac Mini.

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?afid=p219|GOUS&cid=AOS-US-KWG

     

    You might get Meraki to create what profiles you need then manually copy them.

    Meraki -- A free MDM   [ expect lots of email and phone calls about upgrades ]

      http://www.meraki.com/products/systems-manager/

      https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4067210?tstart=0

     

    You have seen this.  a quick search didn't reveal ios 6:

    www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/os/applemac/Apple_iOS_5_Guide.pdf

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2013 9:50 AM (in response to MikeB4424)

    still don't see a guarantee that, even in supervisor mode, it will prevent this.

     

    What happens when connecting to iTunes?

     

    From reading several posts here, this may have been a recent change. I do not know for sure. In supervised mode, you must connect to the supervising mac.  Otherwise, you will get an error.

     

    You could visit an apple store and try things out.

     

    Alternatively, is there a way to look at the apple logs to determine if the device has been connected to a different PC

     

    I did find apps in the app store to read the logs on the iPad

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/consuela/id481121105?mt=8

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/device-log-viewer/id489202498?mt=8

     

    I do not know if you will get the information you need with either of these apps.  I did read about reading crash app logs in iTunes. Perhaps more of the logs are available.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (5,115 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2013 7:35 PM (in response to MikeB4424)

    From reading several posts here, this may have been a recent change. I do not know for sure. In supervised mode, you must connect to the supervising mac.  Otherwise, you will get an error.

     

    Now I remember...

    The recent change was to require VPP apps to be distributed in supervisor mode.  This is so you can reclaim the usage of the app in cause you want to delete it on an iPad. This change caused grinding of some teeth in school settings because moving to supervisor mode prevented students from connecting to any iTunes to copy off long videos.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------

     

    Wall Street Journal

    Pentagon to Enlist Samsun and Apple 5/2/2013 page B1.  Security evaluation by Pentagon of ipad and Samsun device.

    Prior WSJ article wrote of Pentagon effort to write secure apps for ipad.

     

    Robert

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