Posted in: BYOD, Latest News & Views
The common thinking goes: Android is the least secure mobile platform, while BlackBerry is the best at protecting sensitive corporate data and Apple’s iOS lies somewhere in between. But is that belief accurate?
A recent announcement from the Pentagon suggests that top experts believe it may not be.
Android, Google’s smartphone and tablet operating system, has been the subject of many stories about mobile security — and not in a positive way. Most pieces of mobile malware discovered are Android viruses, and Google’s relatively lax app approval methods mean a big chunk of the applications available in the Google Play store could present security risks.
However, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently changed course when it approved the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S4 for use by its employees. Previously, BlackBerry’s latest line of devices had been given similar approval, and iOS devices are expected to be allowed soon.
What to look for in a secure mobile device
Many security experts have noted that Android devices come under attack most often simply because it’s the platform with the biggest global market, rather than because the platform itself is vulnerable.
It’s also important to not that Android devices come in a lot of different varieties, and some may be more secure than others.
The DoD said it would allow devices with Samsung’s Knox security software onto its networks — currently the only such device is the S4, though others should be coming in the future.
A key component of that software is that it allows IT departments to keep personal and work-related sections of the phone separate. That allows companies to encrypt the business partition and tightly control what apps are installed, without having too great an impact on the section of the phone left for personal use.
In addition, those partitions make it easier to wipe all company data off of a personal phone when an employee leaves the organization.
Those features are similar to what can be found on BlackBerry’s recent Z10 and Q10 smartphones. Mobile carrier AT&T also announced a service last year that provides the same kind of functionality.
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