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Android vs. iPhone for Mobile Security

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To some extent comparing Android and Apple in this regard is misleading. Android OS is software, designed to run on a multitude of compliant, but separate, hardware. iOS is both the software and the hardware of the iPhone. The two are inseparable. This difference cannot be overstated and its ramifications are what truly separates Apple from other computer corporations, for better and worse.

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Android vs. iPhone for Mobile Security

  1. 1. Android vs. iPhone for Mobile Security
  2. 2. Operating Systems iOS only runs on Apple hardware, and this proprietary pairing has always helped Apple tighten up their systems more than open vendors. Android OS runs on many different types of hardware, each with its own security profile. A security-conscious person may investigate this before buying an Android, but most people would not.
  3. 3. There are more malware threats written for Android devices than iOS devices.
  4. 4. Data Wipe iPhone offers the Erase Data feature, which wipes the device after 10 consecutive unsuccessful passcode attempts. Apps exist for Android devices which can do the same thing, but Apple’s integration of this security measure into its operating system speaks to their consideration of security as a primary need and doesn’t rely on third party developers to update or patch an app.
  5. 5. Malware Threats There are more malware threats written for Android devices than iOS devices. By sheer quantity, iOS is less likely to have a vulnerability. However, rare vulnerabilities do exist for iOS and its apps, and just one can wreak havoc if successfully exploited.
  6. 6. App Security Apple has always vetted the software it allowed into its store fairly carefully compared to Android, which improves quality across the board. However, many vulnerabilities occur through misconfiguration or bad code and won’t always be caught by a QA center processing thousands of apps a day.
  7. 7. Versioning Android OS is currently on version 6.0.1, which was released in October of 2015. It’ s had regular updates about every year, usually at a major version level. The latest iOS version, 9.3.2 came out in May of this year. Both teams regularly update their product at the patch level and major releases tend to coincide with hardware cycles, almost yearly. Look for faster OS releases as the need to adapt increases with new technology.
  8. 8. CSTAR Apple.com and Android.com both have great external security presences, with scores of 877. They take security seriously on the perimeter and implement common mechanisms to prevent vulnerabilities.
  9. 9. Encryption During the Apple/FBI encryption battle, much was made about whether an Android phone would have made any difference. Google made it clear that their open encryption, like Apple’s, prevents even Google from snooping Android devices. Both platforms use strong encryption and both companies consider user privacy a crucial business asset.
  10. 10. Much of Apple’s edge over Android for security comes at a cost: Apple gatekeeping what apps are available, the proprietary relationship between hardware and software, much more “black boxed” to end users (unless jailbroken) than other devices, and a high price tag that immediately puts it out of reach for many people. Their reputation for innovation and being “elite” often puts them in charge of the way people use their phones to a greater extent than even a more popular solution like Android. Black Boxed
  11. 11. Android is crushing Apple in the market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
  12. 12. But to some extent comparing Android and Apple in this regard is misleading. Android OS is software, designed to run on a multitude of compliant, but separate, hardware. iOS is both the software and the hardware of the iPhone. The two are inseparable. This difference cannot be overstated and its ramifications are what truly separates Apple from other computer corporations, for better and worse. More malware will continue to target Android

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