The choice of mobile OS determines everything from hardware, apps, support, jailbreak capability, expandabilty and accessories – while discretely impacting enterprise management, support, privacy and security. Security features are either inherent in the mobile OS or enforced through measures and policy controlled by the mobile OS.  This means that the proper configuration and maintainence of mobile OS security features is imperitive to protecting both the enterprise and the individual.  In addition, innovative uses of mobile technology, such as tablets in the boardroom are pushing the boundaries of the secured mobile experience – and screaming for security innovation.

In this upcoming Synergy session, we look at three major mobile OS platforms, security issues and features unique to each, and enterprise guidance for making it easy for mobile OS users to do the right things to protect privacy and security.

Session Sneak Preview:

Android powered devices enable a wide variety of hardware manufactures to offer a similarly wide variety of differentiated devices.  As an open platform with roots in open-source software, Android has become a key operating system in the quest for increasing mobility. Features and benefits that are targeted at both consumers and enterprises make Android an attractive choice for both individuals and organizations, but organizations must ensure that specific measures are in place to ensure the security and privacy of enterprise information.  While device and OS security features continue to impress, issues of OS version fragmentation and a lack of upgrade capabilities on carrier-controlled devices continue to be problematic to Android security.

Apple’s iOS-based mobile devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, have been marketed as consumer devices, but have found themselves at home in many enterprises enabling worker mobility. The iOS proprietary operating system is tightly controlled, resulting in a consistent experience across applications and devices. In addition, iOS has a broad ecosystem of software and hardware that tightly integrates with Apple devices. Apple sets the bar for user experience, consistency, and overall control from hardware to applications.  The “walled garden” approach to security reduces vulnerabilities, but simultaneously limits traditional enterprise security options.

Windows mobility solutions from Microsoft include the Windows Phone and Surface operating systems.  These systems promise the greatest compability with Microsoft environments, including the Office suite of applications.  With advanced built-in security features that include secure boot, BitLocker device encryption, anti-malware, firewalling and information rights management, Windows Phone and Surface present a strong security foundation.  Legacy Windows security technologies are also well-understood and managed by most IT departments.  The relatively newly refreshed mobile Windows platforms have had limited adoption – but may become an IT security favorite.

Session:  SYN313: Securing Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices in the enterprise

Session direct link:

This session will describe, from an IT perspective, the issues that arise when allowing Android, iOS and Windows-based tablets and smartphones into both enterprise and consumer networks—and the steps IT must take to maintain control while encouraging productivity and mobility. We will discuss the security considerations, risk mitigation options and the architectures required to support tablets and smartphones as consumer-grade devices accessing sensitive enterprise data.

Please join me for the latest in this ongoing discussion at Synergy!    -Kurt