Apple makes security hard: AVG evangelist

Summary:Security vendors have been producing mobile security products for Android first, with Apple's iOS users getting reduced features or simply not being catered for; however, this isn't necessarily due to Apple being more secure or Android being less so, according to AVG security evangelist Lloyd Borrett.

Security vendors have been producing mobile security products for Android first, with Apple's iOS users getting reduced features or simply not being catered for; however, this isn't necessarily due to Apple being more secure or Android being less so, according to AVG security evangelist Lloyd Borrett.

(Oh noes! (iPhone) image by Andy Clarke, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In an interview with ZDNet Australia, Lloyd said that Apple's business model, which takes a greater cut of application fees than Google's, had an effect on developers choosing to write applications for the platform, but that wasn't the only drawback. He said that the company's stance in locking down the device also affected whether security vendors could even write applications for the mobile platform.

"They've got the device locked down in some ways that make it difficult, I suspect, for security software to do some things that need to be done," he said.

Meanwhile, the common perception that Apple was secure and therefore had fewer security apps didn't necessarily stand, according to Borrett. He said that Apple had a culture of putting its head in the sand over security issues, since an admission of insecurity would affect its following.

"Apple have got this attitude of they don't want to tell people that it's a problem. They've been pretending that on the Macs for a long, long time. The simple fact is that no platform is truly, inherently safer than any other, but Apple has been pretending otherwise," he said, adding that an example of this was the fake antivirus fiasco, MacDefender, that plagued Apple OS X earlier this year.

"What was Apple's response? They told their support team to neither confirm nor deny."

Yet despite the reduced ability to install security software on the iPad and the iPhone, they are among the first devices that people think of when allowing employees to bring their own devices into the enterprise space.

"People move in and out of work, in and out of their personal life on these devices. They take them everywhere ... but people don't differentiate these devices [from PCs] or think about all the stuff they're putting on them, [and] now they're not secure," he said.

"You've got to look at putting security software on the device."

Borrett pointed to the top security tips recommended by the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online initiative.

"The first tip has always been make sure you put security software on the device. That still holds for the smartphones and the tablets as well," he said.

The Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) previously released a guide that stated that devices like the iPhone and iPad aren't suitable for information that is classified above "In Confidence".

ZDNet Australia contacted Apple for comment, but the company had not responded at the time of publication.

Topics: Android, Apple, Google, iPad, iPhone, Security

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.