Samsung wants to become the Android vendor of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) that corporate America can trust. At the Mobile World Congress, a few days ago, Samsung announced it was further bolstering its mobile enterprise credentials by releasing KNOX, a comprehensive package of mobile security services that will be integrated into its SAFE (Samsung for Enterprise) brand.
Samsung’s initiative will not only help Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) rebuild customers’ confidence in Android in terms of security, it will also strengthen Android’s position in the corporate sector against rival Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY).
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android operating system has undergone a kind of fracture due to so many variations of this OS are being used by different manufacturers. The amount of mobile malware in Android has surged from 30,000 specimens in June to almost 175,000 in September last year, according to a report by Trend Micro.
The Trend Micro report also takes aim at an area of growing concern, Android adware, which may send an excessive, undeclared amount of personal information captured off a device to ad networks. A lot of this adware come through the legitimate Google Play app store.
Android’s open API model helps Samsung developing KNOX
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s locked-down approach in iOS has an edge over Android, especially since Android’s more open platform is being targeted by malware writers. But on Android’s side, security experts point out that the closed, proprietary iOS architecture has some drawbacks, such as when an iOS device is “jailbroken,” its security shield is basically broken.
“You can build more security for Android,” notes Tom Kellermann, vice president of cybersecurity at Trend Micro, who points out Android’s open API model is conducive for that. But he notes that for now, at least, Google Android is also viewed as more vulnerable. In a study that Trend Micro did of security of the three mobile platforms iOS, Android and BlackBerry, BlackBerry actually came out on top in that, he points out.
Mobile Security: Android vs. iOS
One of the primary differences between Android and iOS is the application distribution and vetting models. iOS has a single application store, iTunes that customers can download applications from. While Apple is not perfect, they have executed better than Google in the application vetting process while attempting to limit malware distribution.