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Close, But No Cigar

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Apple steps iPhone's security up a notch, but it's still not in the rankings to compare to Blackberry's security.

Apple's iPhone Security Gets Better, But Still Not BlackBerry Strong

In a bid to attract more business users to the iPhone, Apple introduced several security enhancements on Monday for its popular handset. However, there are still a number of weaknesses that need addressing before the company can climb into the business market.

At its 26th Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple demonstrated an emergency feature that remotely erased an iPhone's data in the event that the handset is lost or stolen. Additionally, a new tool called "Find My iPhone” will enable users to view the location of their lost or stolen iPhone on a map. Third, for the next-generation iPhone 3GS, Apple implemented encryption to prevent thieves from retrieving confidential, sensitive information.

While these new features do increase security, they still fall short of Research In Motion's BlackBerry, said Jonathan Zdziarski, forensics expert and author of the book iPhone Forensics: Recovering Evidence, Personal Data, and Corporate Assets.

"I don't think some of the features were as big of a solution as Apple made them sound,” Zdziarski said. "The remote wipe is useful, but for someone who's targeting an enterprise phone specifically, that remote wipe can only take place if the iPhone is on a network. If I steal someone's phone and I have the goal of stealing information on that phone, the first thing I'm going to do is pop the SIM card out.”

Historically, Apple has aimed its products at consumers, and thus the popular iPhone has received criticism for its relatively lackadaisical security. In September, for example, Zdziarski revealed a security flaw in Cupertino's wonder device: The handset snaps a cached screenshot of your most recent action whenever the Home button is pressed. A tech-savvy thief could potentially access a pilfered iPhone's cache and see previously written text messages, password entries and so forth.

Despite this, Apple recently began heavily marketing the iPhone as a business device. A recent iPhone ad (above) demonstrates business apps available for the iPhone. Apple even launched an entire web page hoping to pitch the iPhone's suitability in this area.

But as intriguing as business applications can be, the security of the iPhone still isn't on par with BlackBerry smartphones, Zdziarski said. For remote-wiping on a BlackBerry, customers can opt for an emergency feature where their phone automatically erases all of its data if it's been off the network for a set amount of time — think of it as the cellular equivalent of the nuclear option. Even if the SIM is removed, the phone would still wipe itself, Zdziarski said.

As for encryption for iPhone 3GS, security experts have yet to put the smartphone through any thorough testing. Thus, employees and business users eager for new iPhones should wait to see just what level of encryption has been deployed before putting in orders, he said.

"Any kind of encryption is an improvement . and Apple is heading in the right direction. But BlackBerry still has the upper hand in their technology,” Zdziarski said.

Nonetheless, Apple is just beginning to tap the business market with these new announcements. And tech strategist Mike Gartenberg says to expect Apple to shake up the OS space, as the company continues to roll our additional enterprise-centric features for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and future iPhones iterations.

"The OS wars have finally begun,” Gartenberg said. "Apple is very well positioned in the PC space for consumers, and we can expect Apple to begin its first major onslaught in the business market.”

You can also read the article here.

Ok, Appleheads you might have cool apps, but it looks as though your security can use a little tweaking.

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Smartmom's picture
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Re: Close, But No Cigar
from the article wrote:

But as intriguing as business applications can be, the security of the iPhone still isn't on par with BlackBerry smartphones, Zdziarski said. For remote-wiping on a BlackBerry, customers can opt for an emergency feature where their phone automatically erases all of its data if it's been off the network for a set amount of time — think of it as the cellular equivalent of the nuclear option. Even if the SIM is removed, the phone would still wipe itself, Zdziarski said.

Well I think this is something that both of us pretty much knew that the blackberry stomps the iphone. Yep no kool-aid for us Phoenix, we're big girls we like the stronger stuff *cheers Phoenix*

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Re: Close, But No Cigar
Yeah Apple might have one up on Microsoft, but it looks like RIM is outdoing them...Laughing.
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Re: Close, But No Cigar

Heh it's funny...the way you two go on and on about Blackberry being better than an iPhone, it would appear that a Black berry Kool Aid has been bottled and consumed. Just sayin Tongue Kudos to top notch security. If you use your phone wisely enough, any phone, you'll be just fine. Smile

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Re: Close, But No Cigar
Me in Wonderland wrote:

Heh it's funny...the way you two go on and on about Blackberry being better than an iPhone, it would appear that a Black berry Kool Aid has been bottled and consumed.

Yes...blackberry juice mmm...Brainwashing is good for you.
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Re: Close, But No Cigar

Can't wait to drink the blackberry juice soon

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