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BlackBerry 7.0 named most secure mobile OS for enterprises

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BlackBerry's latest operating system is the most compatible for enterprise use.

According to a survey by Trend Micro which compares the ability of several mobile platforms to meet the demands of use in the enterprise, BlackBerry 7.0 scored higher than Apple iOS5, Windows Phone 7.5 and Google's Android 2.3.

The platforms were each scored on a combination of factors including built-in security, application security, authentication, device wipe, device firewall and virtualisation; BlackBerry gained the highest average score (2.89), followed by iOS (1.7), Windows Phone (1.61) and Android (1.37).

Researchers from Altimeter Group, Bloor Research and Trend Micro said the corporate-grade security and manageability of BlackBerry made it the best option for the most stringent mobile roles.

It rated higher than Apple iOS due to the administrator's complete control over the device through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), but features need to be managed for there to be a benefit to the business, researchers said.

The report also praised the sandboxing of the iOS application architecture and there being no options for adding removable storage.

It also praised the "reasonably robust and secure" smartphone operating system in Windows Phone, with the OS using privileges and isolation techniques to create sandbox processes based on a policy system that defines which features the processes operating in a chamber can access.

Finally, it said that while more up-to-date versions of Android are available, version 2.x is still the most widely deployed on existing and new handsets, creating a security risk in itself. Apps also run in a sandboxed environment and they cannot access the network without prior consent.

Raimund Genes, CTO of Trend Micro, said: “Against the growing, unstoppable backdrop of consumerisation and BYOD, every mobile device is a risk to business. 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'.”

Nigel Stanley, practice leader – security at Bloor Research, said: “Security people I work with are scared witless by consumerisation and the rapid adoption of these devices. Aside from the technical challenges, organisations need to understand the importance of a decent mobile device security policy and supporting user education.”

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