Federal Office: iPhone and iPad are secure enough for classified information

federal office iphone and ipad are secure enough for classified.jpg
federal office iphone and ipad are secure enough for classified.jpg

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) releases iPhones and iPads for federal authorities. Why this is useful for Apple.

According to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), iPhones and iPads are secure enough for processing classified information. To this end, the authority examined the security properties of the devices and the iOS and iPadOS operating systems more closely. The integrated apps for e-mails, calendar and contacts are therefore to be regarded as secure mobile solutions.


The release of commercial products for the processing of information with special protection requirements is a novelty, says BSI President Arne Schönbohm. After successful testing, Apple’s mobile devices can now officially be used for classified information in the “For official use only” category. These are the most common form of sensitive documents in the everyday life of authorities and the Bundeswehr. The security levels are confidential, secret and top secret. For example, search documents from the area of ​​terrorism and extremism are already classified as “for official use only”.

Apple agreed to the independent review and worked closely with the BSI, the agency said in a press release. The BSI is based on the internationally recognized Common Criteria standards. The standard for testing and evaluating the security properties of IT products was established in the 1990s by several countries, including the USA, Germany, Great Britain and France.

However, the BSI attaches conditions to the release of iPhones and iPads for use in federal authorities. A secure connection must be established via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and a Mobile Device Management System (MDM) must be used. In addition, there are guidelines on user behavior that must be observed. The German IT security authority has not yet treated the Californian manufacturer with kid gloves: in the past, the BSI had repeatedly made headlines when it warned of security problems in Apple’s operating systems.

For the future, Apple and the BSI have agreed to regularly check new versions of iOS and iPadOS. There should also be increased cooperation. The release opens up new opportunities for Apple to sell its devices to authorities in Germany. Purchasing decisions there are often linked to the fact that devices have to meet certain safety standards.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.