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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based data and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

AlertBoot Endpoint Security

AlertBoot offers a cloud-based data and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Apple iPhone Protection: NYPD Team Dedicated To Apple Device Recovery

According to a New York Post exclusive, the New York Police Department has a team that works with Apple to recover stolen iPhones and iPads.  AlertBoot's mobile device management and security services pale in comparison, but there's one area where we outshine New York's finest: we're faster.  Plus, our MDM can prevent data breaches whereas the cops can only act after a crime takes place.

2012 NYC Crime Up Due to Apple Products

Over at slashdot.org, the above news has rekindled the observation that New York City's crime stats for 2012 would have been done had it not been for the Apple effect:
At the time, Mayor Bloomberg's press secretary Marc La Vorgna explained that 'if you just took away the jump in Apple', crime in New York City would have been down year over year. Indeed, the number of major crimes reported in 2011 in NYC came in at 104,948 compared to 108.432 in 2012.
Of course, the argument is a bit specious, since not all "Apple crimes" have at heart Cupertino's products: a percentage of them must have been crimes of opportunity where something would have been stolen no matter what the brand.

Write Down Those Serial Numbers!

The New York Post describes the alliance thusly:  When an Apple device is stolen, the cops try to obtain tracking numbers (specifically pointed out as being an "International Mobile Station Equipment Identity" or IMEI) which gets passed on to Apple.  The company takes that information and updates the NYPD on the whereabouts of the device, who set up a sting to not only recover the device but to also "learn the pattern [of] who is stealing" the popular hardware.

The article goes on to note that devices can be tracked even if it is "reregistered with a different wireless provider."  And why not?  After all, the IMEI is nothing but a serial number that is unique to a device, like the VIN on a car.

This fact, however, brings up a number of questions.  For example, what do they do for phones where an ESN is used in place of the IMEI, a similar sort of hardware serial number for certain carriers like Verizon?  And, are the police able to recover devices that don't feature an IMEI or an ESN?  For example, iPads that are Wi-Fi only – are these unrecoverable by law enforcement?  Are they unable to track devices by UDID, which caused quite the controversy late last year?

Lag between Theft and Recovery

All's well that ends well, or so the saying goes.  But, even if the NYPD were to brag a 100% recovery rate for Apple products, many people could still remain a victim to a crime.  How?

Data theft.  Even if the police can recover all stolen smartphones and tablets, they admit themselves that they'll take the time to learn who's behind it – time during which a thief could go through a device's content.  When you consider that only a minority of smart mobile device owners take the time to ensure their devices are secure, like putting in place a password, this lag between theft and recovery could give thieves a chance to a bigger score.

So, if you're storing confidential information of any sort, prevention makes more sense than recovery.  Thankfully, preventing data breaches stemming from mobile devices is easy with management software like AlertBoot's MDM service.

Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nypd_apple_corps_PmTgzglhsHAGKoRFfsrDJI
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/13/02/22/2143245/apple-now-working-with-the-nypd-to-curb-iphone-thefts
 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.