Mobile Enterprise: Security Tips for Developers, Scrutiny for RIM

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Marisa Peacock avatar

This week, the mobile enterprise advises developers about the security of their mobile applications, while RIM continues to be subjected tostrict scrutiny regarding their security.

Security Is in the Hands of Developers

As we reportedpreviously, mobile apps designed for smartphones could bring securitywoes upon download if users aren’t careful. Both developers and usershave a shared responsibility when it comes to security, but to helpalleviate fears altogether, developers bear most of the burden.Recently, Dan Cornell, principal of the Denim Group, offered up what he considers to be the Five Things for Smart Mobile Application Developers to Know About Security.

Atthe core of his suggestions, Cornell asks developers to assume theworst when designing the functionality and security implications of theapp. It’s better to assume the malware attacks will be made, phones willbe lost or stolen, and that third party software isn’t secure as itshould be. Keeping these in mind, developers will be designed their appsnot to store sensitive information where it can be captured, whileimproving the ways that they handle native code.

It’s a win-winfor developers. The more secure their apps are, the more valuable theywill be to end-users, who, try as they might, will continue to losetheir phones and unknowingly expose their phone’s sensitive informationto others.

Research in Motion Faces More Security Scrutiny

Speakingof security and smartphones, Research in Motion has been subject tostrict scrutiny regarding their security, as of late. The UAE recentlyannounced its plan to suspend BlackBerry's Messenger, e-mail and webbrowsing services, while Saudi Arabia and Indonesian governmentsconsider similar actions.

Additionally, Research In Motionannounced that it would give India access to its BlackBerry messengerservice beginning September 1 to address security concerns. The Indiangovernment’s primary concern is that they can’t intercept encryptedemail and SMS sent via BlackBerries, therefore leading them to fear thatthe phones could be used to plan terrorist attacks.

Learning Opportunities

RIM will giveagencies access to messenger services on a manual basis, withinformation provided for individual phone numbers after governmentrequests. By November, RIM will also provide more automated solutionsand options for tracking BlackBerry smartphone messages.

Everyone Wants an iPhone (but Not AT&T)

Inlight of these recent security concerns regarding RIM, a new surveyshows that more than half of all Verizon subscribers would likely buy aniPhone if their current provider supported Apple’s device.

Accordingto Morpace, a market research firm, 51% of current Verizon subscriberssaid they were either "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to purchase aniPhone if Verizon offered Apple's smartphone.

Morpace's poll also showedthat nearly a quarter of current AT&T subscribers said that theywould probably switch to Verizon if the latter offered the iPhone. Sincethe iPhone was released, numerous complaints have been made againstAT&T by current subscribers.