Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

Summary: Apple's iPhone and iPad are increasingly being adopted in the enterprise and secure enough for most firms, but high-security companies are likely to stick with Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform, according to a Forrester Research report.

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Apple's iPhone and iPad are increasingly being adopted in the enterprise and secure enough for most firms, but high-security companies are likely to stick with Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform, according to a Forrester Research report.

The report concludes that the iPhone and iPad are "secure enough" with the right policies and technical controls. Indeed, Apple supports email message encryption, device wipes, passcode locks, autolock, automatic autowipes, protected configuration profiles and continuous refresh. Forrester says these seven security no brainers are possible on the iPhone and iPad via ActiveSync. Overall, the iPhone can be an approved second smartphone in the enterprise as long as companies stick to the iPhone 3GS, 4 and iPad, which support hardware encryption. However, the inability to close jailbreaks will give enterprises an excuse to avoid Apple's platform, said Forrester.

RIM's BlackBerry platform allows more fine-grained application controls for enterprises and remain the go-to choice for many companies. Forrester said:

These shortcomings in iPad and iPhone security and device management features may be deal killers for some IT security managers, especially those who appreciate the granularity of security controls for the BlackBerry.

The trick is knowing what your company needs---and doesn't---on the security front. Forrester has this handy chart to set a security high-water mark:

From there, you can line up the iPhone and iPad's security features and see where they may fit.

Related: Apple's iPad, iPhone and an enterprise halo effect

Topics: Smartphones, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security

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31 comments
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  • Sometimes Security can be "too good"!

    Some European and Middle East Countries have been reported as having government policies that ban RIM devices due to that company's encryption protocols. It seems those countries can't decrypt intercepted texts from Blackberry devices. (Now that's security!)

    Too bad. But then again, this might present an opportunity for Bin Laden to ditch his Blackberry and go to an iPhone or iPad device.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

      @kenosha7777 - And then maybe the US military could find him and Congress wouldn't block them from going after him.
      PollyProteus
      • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM

        @PollyProteus
        You are SO right!
        kenosha77a
  • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM

    No matter the security they still lack in features compared to rim devices because of the email features that's nobody else has. Battery life is too low while using a constant on email over 3g and talk time is not as good as some blackberries either. And the blackberry OS is built for productivity where the ios was built to be fun and play games. Also ios devices are limited to at&t where blackberries can go on any carrier whig gives companies better deals overall.
    Jimster480
  • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

    We recently canceled a 10 device deployment of the iPhone when we discovered that a recent release of ubuntu could break the iOS encryption function on the 3gs version that we were using.

    Although iOS 4 has apparently addressed this issue, burned once shame on you, burned twice shame on me.

    We will stay with RIM and BES (283 devices) as the gold standard.

    The recent news that the UAR and India are preparing to block the RIM devices gives me more confidence in their security.
    powellwi
  • Interesting that the obvious isn't mentioned. ANDROID

    Sorry, Apple is stylish, but really not open enough for most enterprise uses.

    BlackBerry. Not extensible enough for modern use.
    sys_engineer
    • Android is also spyware

      That is why you don't see anybody talking about using it in the enterprise.
      wackoae
      • All manageable

        @wackoae - I work at a fortune 500 company and we're seriously looking at it. We already have a tone of specialized devices and the Android could allow us to reduce the types of devices we have. There are controls in the Android 2.2 to allow the enterprise admins to provide controls. In an enterprise the size of ours (we'd be in the top 6 telco's in the U.S. if we made our telecomm public) the APIs are a key.
        BTW - Check out the Cisco Cius, that is a taste of what is coming for the "average" enterprise user.

        Because the the Android is extensible it will take over. It can be extended by bad people, or good people. The question is, can it be managed? If RIM and Apple are extensible then that doesn't make them good, just closed (kind of like a brick).
        sys_engineer
  • Got the reason totally WRONG

    The reason they will stay with RIM products is not because it is more secure than others. The reason is because they already invested a lot of money in the infrastructure and right now, there is not enough business justification to switch from Blackberry.

    But as soon as they find a good business reason (if RIM continues to lag behind everybody else, like it is lagging right now), you will see companies dropping out of RIM's customer list like flies.
    wackoae
  • RIM and BB services under fire in local paper

    BlackBerry services are under fire in todays UAE local paper "Gulf News". BlackBerry sales will surely dive in this part of the world. The local telecom authority claims they cant intercept the messages of RIM, as the servers are in Ontario, Canada and the messages are encrypted. <br><br><a href="http://gulfnews.com/business/telecoms/etisalat-offers-free-smartphones-for-blackberry-customers-1.663303" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://gulfnews.com/business/telecoms/etisalat-offers-free-smartphones-for-blackberry-customers-1.663303</a>

    looks like the strongest point of RIM/BlackBerry which is its encrypted communication is the reason for its downfall
    Martmarty
    • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

      @Martmarty UAE is a tiny market, and being banned for not capitulating to a oppressive dictatorship is being seen as a huge plus for BB and a huge strike against iPhone.
      rtk
      • RIM / BlackBerry encryption

        @rtk: im not implying anything, makes me smile reading the local papers again this morning.

        There's a report that UAE wants the code to decrypt the encrypted messages of BlackBerry phones, as UAE authorities heard India National Security Bureau received the code already. Did the Indians really received the code?! Mr Leif-Olof Walling, a Gartner researcher, claimed the report was erroneous on the part of India's Economic Times newspaper. Makes me smile as they wont believe RIM people don't have the codes of the encrypted messages either.

        This looks funny as nobody can decrypt a single encrypted message using 3DES or RSA or RC4 which was designed for TSL/SSL, even if we use the whole planets processing power in 1,000 years. decrypting those things means decrypting the security of banks, financial institutions etc.
        But hey, they want the code for security reasons! lol
        Martmarty
  • If your using blackberry's for security reasons, you need new admins

    You'd be far more secure using gpg than blackberry's and you wouldn't have the insecurities of the server systems it depends on!! Anyone who thinks blackberry's represent high security doesn't know what moderate security is. Look up how much work the nsa did to provide one for obama.You can bet they're using they're own servers too.
    kevlar700
    • If you're rolling out insecure iPhone to replace

      secure Blackberries, you need new admins.

      BB is the high water mark, it's a known fact not an opinion.
      rtk
    • incorrect

      @kevlar700
      If you have insecurities in the BES servers then you are not qualified to touch any server. The servers BES is installed on are easily hardened and very secure.
      The reason there was so much work done for obama's blackberry was due to the fact that he was the first president to carry one. That time wasn't spent securing the blackberry and the servers. It was time spent verifying that the security was good enough. obviously it was.
      travis.duffy@...
      • You obviously haven't a clue

        @travis.duffy@...
        They don't use blackberry servers, it was time spent checking and modifying the device, because at first they refused but obama insisted.
        kevlar700
  • Jailbreak statement misses the point

    Claiming "inability to close jailbreaks" as a reason for enterprises to not use the iPhone misses the point entirely. A user can jailbreak any device - iPhone, RIM, Android, etc. So jailbreaking is a minomer. Now if an enterprise issues a device to a user, then the user should not jailbreak it against the enterprise's policies; but the enterprise could just as easily issue devices that have already been jailbroken too. Please focus on the real issues here and not spout propaganda.
    TemporalBeing
    • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

      @TemporalBeing There's no need for jailbreaking a BB because you can already install any app you want regardless of what RIM wants.<br><br>You can try and disable/remove the security policy from your company provided BB, but you'll kill the enterprise activation to BES in the process, meaning your admin are going to know about it immediately.
      rtk
      • RE: Forrester: Apple's iPhone, iPad secure enough for enterprises, but RIM rules security roost

        @rtk That's good and all, but it is still a misnomer for the iPhone and any other phone.
        TemporalBeing
      • Again, only applies to Apple

        There's no "jailbreaking" other smartphones because they aren't in a walled garden like the iPhone. You might not like the name "Jailbreak", but it's accurate. Breaking the iPhone out of the Apple jail, IOW "Jailbreak".
        rtk