Apple publishes in-depth M1, Mac, and iOS security guide

Apple has published its annual Apple Platform Security Guide, which includes updated details concerning the security of all its platforms, including the new M1 and A14 chips inside Apple Silicon Macs and current iPhones, respectively.

The first look inside M1 Mac security
The extensive 196-page report explains how Apple continues to develop its core security models along the premise of mutually distrusting security domains. The idea here is that each element in the security chain is independent, gathers little user information, and is built with a zero-trust model that helps boost security resilience.

The report explores hardware, biometrics, system, app, network, and services security. It also explains how Apple’s security models protect encryption and data and looks at secure device management tools.

[ Related: Microsoft Windows 10 vs. Apple macOS: 18 security features compared ]
For most Apple users, particularly in the enterprise, it’s what the guide reveals concerning the M1 chips and the security of Macs running them that may be of most interest, as the guide provides the deepest dive yet on this topic.

It confirms that Macs running the M1 chip now support the same degree of robust security you find in iOS devices, which means things like Kernel Integrity Protection, Fast Permission Restrictions (which help mitigate web-based or runtime attacks), System Coprocessor Integrity Protection, and Pointer Authentication Codes.

You also get a series of data protections and a built-in Secure Enclave.

All of these are designed to help prevent common attacks, such as those that target memory or use javascript on the web. Apple claims its protections will mitigate against successful attacks of this nature: “Even if attacker code somehow executes, the damage it can do is dramatically reduced,” the report says.