iPhone overcoming IT security skepticism

New and future iPhone features will broaden options for securing Apple's smart phone

Apple's iPhone is winning over enterprise security skeptics and is now becoming a viable option to Research in Motion BlackBerrys and Microsoft Windows Mobile handsets, according to report by NetworkWorld.

Although the iPhone doesn't offer the security and management features that are hallmarks of the BlackBerry and Windows Mobile platforms, the release this year of Version 3 of the iPhone operating system makes the popular handset capable of a much more advanced mobile symbiosis, according to NetworkWorld. The iPhone relies on the Microsoft Exchange security and management features that are accessed via Apple's implementation of Microsoft ActiveSync. Coupled with a greatly improved iPhone Configuration Utility, NetworkWorld gives the new firmware high grades.

NetworkWorld also offers a roundup of 10 iPhone applications that, for security's sake, users must handle with care.

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Reader Comments

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 gov IT

The questions to ask (for government use...) are whether the platform has the absolutely required features for gov business use. Able to push all settings from an enterprise managed server? Full encryption? Full lock down capable? Can features be remotely disabled? Robust remote wiping of device?

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 Jerry Johnson

I would LOVE to be able to support the iPhone. But, before you get too excited, read NIST SP 800-53 control MP-5(4), then read the article and watch the video at http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/07/iphone-encryption/. Quote: "Apple claims that hundreds of thousands of iPhones are being used by corporations and government agencies. What it won’t tell you is that the supposedly enterprise-friendly encryption included with the iPhone 3GS is so weak it can be cracked in two minutes with a few pieces of readily available freeware."

Tue, Dec 15, 2009 Joe Wulf Baltimore Md

Additionally, the Center for Internet Security (CIS) is currently working (as of 2009/12/15) the draft for their next generation edition of the iPhone Security Benchmark. Keep that in mind, when searching for resources to empirically include such technology in the enterprise.

Mon, Dec 14, 2009 Allister McClay CA

There was a report in InformationWeek on 5 December 2009, that showed that Windows Mobile has basically lost the business / enterprise market it once had. According to I.W. figures, Windows Mobile's share in the enterprise has dropped to just 24%, and is now in third place behind Blackberry and iPhone for business. WinMo's overall market share has plummeted to 7.9% (Gartner). The smartphone market is crowded, and some platforms are not going to make it. The market figures give some indication about which platforms will survive, and which will fail. There's no point committing to or investing in any platform that is failing or with clear signs it is diminishing. With Windows Mobile struck off the list, we need to look closely at the alternatives. Blackberry is still the business favorite, but iPhone is definitely gaining ground, with each revision fixing shortcomings of the previous, and making it more secure and business-savvy. Also, keep half an eye on Android. Although its market share is very small, it is growing at an exponential rate, which will feed an ecosystem of development. It has potential to be a better business platform in the future.

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