The Apple iOS and Android mobile operating systems are comparably risky but expose users to different threats, according to new research by Marble's Mobile Security Labs. The company dedicates resources to discover and track rapidly evolving mobile security threats facing enterprises and their workers.
The Marble Labs Mobile Threat Report reveals how Marble Security analysised how vulnerable the Apple iOS and Android operating systems were to 14 key mobile security threats.
As part of the project, Marble Security also studied 1.2 million iOS and Android apps with results showing that gaming and news apps on iOS devices presented a significantly greater mobile security risk than other app categories on the platform.
The findings showed how threats are different between the two platforms e.g. new iOS threats - hostile configuration profiles, unencrypted email attachments and backup hijacking - can open effective attack opportunities for hackers. iOS apps, like Android’s, routinely require privacy-risky permissions such as reading contacts, email messages and texts. Once this information is uploaded to the app provider, it is no longer controlled by the mobile device or the enterprise - representing a significant potential threat to security.
Marble Security founder and CTO David Jevans said that enterprise security managers needed to know that Apple's iOS mobile security reputation hinges on its app distribution control, not on “any inherent superiority” of its operating system.
“We broke it down in our labs against 14 leading attack vectors for mobile devices, and aside from their app distribution control, iOS and Android are equally at risk to the mobile security threatscape facing the enterprise.”
He issued a strong warning to network security managers. “You cannot take iOS device security on faith and allow those users unfettered access to corporate resources”.