Given that some state and federal programs for K-12 schools tie funding to content filtering and that some states and districts have additional regulations and requirements for filtering, this has been a big challenge. In many cases, the regulations specify school technology as a whole, whether it's used on campus, at home or anywhere else. Schools have largely relied on VPN configurations that pass all managed iPad data through the school's network and its proxy servers. That's a cumbersome solution and one that can place additional load on a school's resources.
iOS 6 resolves the situation by allowing managed devices to have a single universal proxy configuration.
Preventing outside certificates and configuration profiles
iOS 6 also allows IT staff to block security certificates and configuration profiles (beyond those deployed by IT) from being installed on a supervised device. This means outside security certificates, including root certificates, can't be added. It also means that a user can't add a configuration profile, intentionally or by accident, that isn't from a trusted source. That promotes overall security because it helps ensure that compromised or malicious credentials can't be used to create a man-in-the-middle attack on a device or the network resources it uses.
Overall, Apple didn't deliver a huge range of new features in iOS 6, opting instead to add incremental updates for specific features while delivering on some long-standing enterprise and education customer requests. There's no radical new management system and Apple, as in the past, stayed largely out of the app management and content management arenas. There are, however, companies specializing in those areas that are doing a great job filling corporate needs: App 47, Apperian, Good, Bitzer and Accellion.
Ryan Faas is a freelance writer and technology consultant specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. He has been a Computerworld columnist since 2003 and is a frequent contributor to Peachpit.com. Faas is also the author of iPhone for Work (Apress, 2009). You can find out more about him at RyanFaas.com and follow him on Twitter ( @ryanfaas).
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