Mobile Security Isn't The Same on All Platforms

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From an article on Cnet announcing a mobile security product:

The [product] runs on all mobile operating systems and devices. It includes antivirus, personal firewall, antispam, and remote monitoring and control services. It remotely backs up and restores data and can locate devices that are lost and stolen, as well as wipe data from stolen devices. It also can send an alert when a SIM card has been removed or replaced. For enterprise users, it protects devices accessing networks with SSL-based virtual private network.

And it makes great toast, too!

Reality check. The functionality of the above mentioned product is highly dependent on the mobile platform we're talking about. A quick trip to the vendor's website shows you what options are available on which platform, and it's clearly not the same.

Mobile operating systems are designed more secure from the get-go. That doesn't completely reduce the need for security, but it does reduce or eliminate certain classes of threats. Also, each mobile OS has their own unique restrictions on the kinds of apps that can be written. Each mobile OS has different security services that can be utilized in different ways.

In short, what you can do on iPhone and what you can do on Android are very different. Even if a vendor provides the same application on multiple platforms, it is not going to provide the same level of functionality. It simply cannot.

The author of the above-linked piece did not even attempt to articulate this critical point. If you're looking at a mobile security solution for your enterprise, you simply have to be aware of this reality so as you don't expect something that cannot be delivered.

Disclaimer: My employer offers a competing product: Mobile Access Software Blade. However, the above thoughts are my own.

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