In Apple v. the government, most IT pros side with Apple

Two-thirds of information technology professionals are on Apple’s side in an ongoing dispute over whether encryption should be broken to aid in law enforcement. 

Most readers will be familiar with the case involving attempts by the FBI to have Apple unlock an iPhone of the San Bernadino shooter. The government is arguing that one-time decrypting of the phone in order to ascertain whether there were terrorist network links. Apple counters that a one-time weakening of encryption would set a precedent that couldn’t be undone and weaken its security on all devices.

An AlienVault survey of 1,500 IT pros finds that the majority (63%) sided with Apple. Only 34% said that the company should be forced to unlock phones, and most were big fans of encryption in general.

Security concerns

Creating backdoors could have huge implications for companies and individuals who transmit encrypted data. If Apple were to weaken or crack its own encryption, this could lead to hackers doing the same, theoretically.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said they worried that weakening encryption could lead to loss of trust in companies. And 64% said they saw stronger encryption as a good way to boost overall security.

Ask your vendors

With more than a third of companies using encryption enterprise-wide, and several others dabbling here and there, it could be worth it to ask your vendors: What would they do?

If your providers haven’t already made it public, you may want to ask them whether and under what circumstances they would decrypt data. If their standards don’t line up with your company’s that could be a sign you may want to go with a different vendor.

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