End-to-end encryption for iCloud customers’ backups is just one of the new security enhancements Apple has unveiled to combat threats to user data in the cloud.
iMessage Contact Key Verification, a feature that enables users to confirm they are speaking solely with those they intend, was announced by the business along with end-to-end encryption for iCloud, Apple’s cloud computing and storage platform.
Apple ID customers now have the option to require two-factor verification to sign into their Apple ID accounts thanks to the hardware Security Keys the company recently unveiled. Hardware security keys allow access to a service or application using gadgets like USB thumb drives or near-field communication (NFC) dongles.
In a statement titled “Advanced Data Protection,” Apple announced that it is extending the iCloud’s end-to-end encryption capabilities from 14 “critical data categories” to 23 new categories, including backups, Contacts, Notes, Photos, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes. Previously, only more sensitive data, such as passwords in the iCloud Keychain and personal health records, could be encrypted using end-to-end iCloud capabilities. Because they are required “to interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems,” according to a statement from Apple, iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar are the only data categories currently not covered by Advanced Data Protection.
Members of the Apple Beta Software Program can get Advanced Data Protection for iCloud in the US right now, and all US customers will have access to it before the end of the year. According to Apple, the capability will be available to the rest of the world in early 2023.
Security Keys for Apple ID will be made available internationally in early 2023, along with iMessage Contact Key Verification.