The security of smartphones such as the iPhone, Windows Mobile devices and the T-Mobile G1 has come under a lot of scrutiny lately. Each device has its own unique security model, and in the case of the iPhone, Apple has kept its platform closed to third-party security vendors. But that’s not stopping some of them from making an end run around Apple and creating their own security applications for the hugley popular device.
Not that security software vendors are all to blame. In the case of the iPhone, the word is that Apple doesn’t want to give third parties access to kernel level APIs they need to do realtime threat protection or data encryption. In the meantime, the company’s development efforts haven’t prioritized enterprise concerns. As my collegue Chris Hazelton noted in a recent report, the latest rev of the iPhone OS, Version 3.0, did little to advance the iPhone’s enterprise readiness. In particular, it failed to add the ability for one or more third party applications to run in the background, limiting security (i.e. encryption) and management features.