Trend Micro, Inc. recently announced the result of a new research comparing several popular and mostly used mobile platforms in terms of meeting the demands and use of the OS for work and enterprise. The criterea of judging is on a combination of different factors including the platform’s built-in security, application security, device wipe, device firewall, virtualisation and many other factors.
And the nominees are the Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry and the Windows Phone.
- Garnering an average score of 1.37 is the Android! Although, according to Trend Micro’s sources, Android is now available in more updated version 4.x series, the most widely deployed on existing and new handsets still belongs to the previous 2.x version. This proves that the system does not have a central means of providing OS updates and are very unprotected from critical vulnerabilities and therefore poses a security risk. However, the Operating System is a priviledge-seperated OS which means that applications can’t access the network without prior consent. Unfortunately, the users often fails to closely inspect permission request (and yes, it’s normal) in their haste to open and use the app.
- The 3rd place, Scoring 1.61, goes to the Windows Phone! Although the Microsoft Windows Phone version 7.5 has only been out for less than 18 months, it performed quite well considering that it’s still new. It’s security boasts minimum privileges and isolation techniques to sandbox processes. These isolations are implemented based on a policy system that defines what system features can be accessed.
- Apple iOS claimed the second spot with 1.7 points. The iOS provides so much protection since all of its applications are sandboxed in a common memory environment. Apple also has a very strict guidlines for the applications that third parties develop. Their hardware also does not feature adding removable storage, which provides another layer of protection for the users.
… and the most secure and enterprise ready mobile platform is.. *drum roll*
- BlackBerry with a whoping 2.89 points! According to the researchers, the corporate-grade security and manageability makes this platform the best option for most stringent mobile roles. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) was considered by many as the bellwether for device security, where the IT administrators of BlackBerry has complete control over the device. However,some of the strongest security features are not present on devices that are user provisioned via the BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS)
“Security people I work with are scared witless by consumerization and the rapid adoption of these devices.” Nigel Stanley, Security at Bloor Research and one of the report’s authors, commented. He also added that “aside from the technical challenges, organisations need to understand the importance of a decent mobile device security policy and supporting user education.”
According to Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro and one of the researchers who produced the report: “What is interesting in these results is that, whilst some mobile platforms have evolved very noticeably along enterprise lines, there is still a strong ‘consumer marketing’ legacy in some quarters and this is negating some of the progress made on the enterprise front. Indeed, some of the attributes we have examined in the report are still firmly ‘enterprise-unready.’”