SECURITY – part of an ongoing series

(courtesy of usgennet.org)
(courtesy of usgennet.org)

Each of us uses our smartphone in a different way and in an ideal world we’d be on the platform that best supports our needs.  The #4 main platforms in order of market share are Android, iOS, Windows Phone (WP), and BlackBerry.

Each user, whether Enterprise or Consumer, is constantly making decisions what data should be stored on their phone, from Apps asking for every permission under the sun, to pictures, contacts information possibly including health insurance carrier and member ID, banking/financial/credit card information, the list goes on and on.  Even if we do our best to be security conscious all it takes is someone to forward an email with an attachment, to download a malicious app, to grant an app too much permission, or not be familiar with the End-user License Agreement (EULA) which may state you are giving up certain rights.

Aside from the fact that smartphone use has proliferated across the globe there are reasons that the ‘Black Hat Hackers’ (bad guys as opposed to the curious) target various platforms.

Android being an open system is more vulnerable to hack and a high percentage of app in the Google Play store are infected with malware (hence the term ‘malware-magnet’ ).  In addition, Android is the market leader thereby providing hackers with a greater amount of targets/opportunities.  Finally the pricing of Android phones should help them to retain their place as the market leader.

iOS was the market leader for a couple years, and while it is still popular in various markets, globally it is in second place and will most likely stay there for the following reasons- lack of iNnovation and pricing. This year they will introduce a larger screen following in the footsteps of Android, and NFC which has been present on Android, BlackBerry, and WP for quite some time.  The pricing of the new iPhone 6 will be released very shortly but an exorbitant price could help in contributing to reduced or stagnant market share.  iPhone users tend to store similar information as users on other platforms but due their ‘walled-off garden’ approach may be less susceptible to malware than android but the iOS platform has succumbed to various hacks since the beginning of this year. Just recently Apple was caught with their ‘pants down’: Applegate aka selfiegate aka fApplegate).

WP is in a distant third but has its’ fans like other platforms. It has not been the target of as many hacks as the other platforms but has suffered some recent difficulties.  Lack of hacker interest may be a function of market share.

BlackBerry OS10 boasts the most secure platform when combined with a BES10 enterprise server.  The addition of a Secusmart security card adds another layer of security typically required by Governments and the Military, but could have extended uses in other areas including Legal, Banking/Finance to name a few.  While BlackBerry currently has the lowest market share it’s the aforementioned customers that make it an attractive target for hackers. To date there have been no verified hacks of a BlackBerry running OS10 on an enterprise server, but I’m sure hackers are looking for weaknesses either for bragging rights of for more malicious reasons.

(courtesy of utbblogs.com)
(courtesy of utbblogs.com)

I just wanted to end this missive with a thought-

hackers are omnipresent and will not be going away any time soon.  With this in mind, can anyone please enlighten me why Apple would publicly boast that they have access to over 800 million credit/debt cards via iTunes?  Am I the only one who thinks that would taunt hackers and potentially expose Apple customers to yet another hack?

 

Rob

kayaker co-pilot Tucson, it's a dry heat!

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