Android-fragmention fans may find themselves at odds with security specialists in the wake of a TrendMicro study examining enterprise mobile security.
The report, Enterprise Readiness of Consumer Mobile Platforms, reviewed four major devices and compared them against specific criteria. In terms of overall security, Android ranked last, with OS fragmentation named the biggest contributing factor. Blackberry was found to be the most secure platform, followed by Windows Mobile and iOS. The study found that risk isn’t limited to just operating systems, since enterprise apps for Android also ranked poorly.
The findings potentially put Android-fragmenting device makers at odds with enterprises, since adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are becoming more commonplace. (It was enterprise use, remember, that set BlackBerry apart from other devices because it was developed for business.)
…fragmentation of the handset market means that Android 2.x is still the most widely deployed and provided on the majority of new handsets. Another side effect of this market fragmentation is that there is no central means of providing operating system updates. Security patches are provided to customers by individual carriers or handset manufacturers. There is an unacceptable delay in this process, meaning that many consumers remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period.
Android security concerns have slowed adoption of the OS for enterprise use. Continued failings in security could equal smaller enterprise market share for Android device makers. So, someone better fix this — those coveted corporate mobile contracts could go unsigned if security and fragmentation issues continue.