Apple winning the enterprise security race, Samsung makes push

According to a Tech Pro Research survey, Apple is viewed by tech decision-makers as the most secure mobile device option. Samsung is threatening Apple's lead, and Microsoft ranks well on tablets thanks to the Surface.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The use of Samsung devices in the enterprise is approaching Apple levels, according to a Tech Pro Research survey. But the perception of how the vendors fare on security clearly leans in Apple's favor.

In this month's special report on mobile security, we've picked apart the state of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, mobile device management, and the security that goes with it. The short version of the special report notes that inconsistent IT policies are a big risk in mobile.

In addition, wearables are an emerging risk to enterprises, which are just starting to adopt them.

Also see: MDM for Android devices: What your business needs to know | Stress-reducing MDM tips for businesses managing Apple devices

But what caught my eye was the perception of security with the key mobile vendors. Apple is clearly winning, but Samsung has been able to use Knox and its other technologies to position Android as enterprise-friendly. Add it up -- and 67 percent of the tech decision-makers surveyed were using Apple, while 62 percent were using Samsung.

The security messaging is critical for device makers since 61 percent of tech leaders see mobile devices as less secure than non-mobile tools. However, enterprises may be juggling costs and security too.

Tech Pro noted:

Fifty-one percent of survey respondents rated the iPhone as very good or excellent in security. Samsung is a distant second in respondents' minds, with only 30 percent of respondents rating Samsung smartphone security as very good or excellent. The fact that Samsung is approaching Apple's penetration levels in organizations suggests that cost may be weighed against security, with organizations being willing to trade off a little security for a better price point.

What's clear is that Samsung is the best shot for more Android adoption in the enterprise. Another point worth noting is that BlackBerry could help Android in the enterprise based on its security intellectual property and legacy inside companies.

Let's roll the charts, starting with smartphones:


It's a similar tale for tablets except for a three-horse race on security with Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung:


The security rankings carried over for wearables with Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft being players, but few enterprises are using the devices for actual business.

When it came to laptops, Apple was also viewed as the security leader, followed by Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, and HP.

Bottom line: Apple's real halo effect is how enterprises view the company's devices on security. Apple is viewed as a safe device choice, and that's allowing it to gain enterprise share. BYOD efforts got the Apple ball rolling within corporations, but security is what may be keeping the lead.

ZDNet's Monday Morning Opener is our opening salvo for the week in tech. As a global site, this editorial publishes on Monday at 8am AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6pm Eastern Time on Sunday in the US. It is written by a member of ZDNet's global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US.


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