Windows Phone 7 'not fit for big biz ... unlike Android, iOS'
Enterprise sec expert bigs up Microsoft rivals
B-Sides Window Phone 7 is not yet fit for enterprise deployments, according to an application security expert.
David Rook, application security lead at Realex Payments, told delegates at the B-Sides conference in London that the youngest of the smartphone operating systems is less mature than either Google's Android or Apple's iOS.
Rook's well-received presentation also discussed how developers can produce apps for consumers that are free from common application security vulnerabilities.
However, for enterprise deployment, the most important issues to focus on are authentication, authorisation and secure storage, he said.
Speaking to The Reg after the event, Rook explained: "The main three things that would stop me personally deploying WP7 in the enterprise would be the lack of native disk encryption, no support for client side SSL certificates and the lack of in built VPN functionality.
"In addition to those features being missing Microsoft have specifically targeted the consumer market with WP7 which to me says a lot about it being the right solution for the enterprise. I believe WP8 will include native bitlock disk encryption but this isn't in WP7."
He added that he would personally prefer iOS devices in enterprise scenarios, but said "Android can be securely deployed, of course, as a friend of mine pointed out recently".
Rook told delegates at B-Sides that other issues in application security such as input validation ought not to be neglected but are less important in practice than the three top areas he outlined.
"We need input validation but most problems in practice are caused by top three risk areas," Rook explained.
The current Windows Phone 7 framework doesn't allow app to access data held by other apps. Microsoft is likely to reverse this, according to Rook. Examples of possible problem areas include flaws in mobile ad libraries and the like from third-party suppliers.
Window Phone 7 is based on the .Net developer framework and many of the same security principles apply. "There are no new issues in app security here that we don't now how to review and test," Rook explained.
The smartphone OS has various in-built security features but "like any security system it's only a matter of time before these get broken," Rook warned.
Rook has developed a utility called Windows Phone App Analyser to assist software creators in uncovering possible problems. ®
The article was updated to include comment from David Rook after the B-Sides conference.
Microsoft should care.
A zonking great lump of the Windows mobile market was in enterprise devices. The sort of scanner bricks you see shelf stackers and delivery drivers carrying around.
MS, in their infinite wisdom, have made Windows phone 100% incompatible with Windows Mobile. Now the users of those Windows Mobile bricks have to decide whether to continue to use Windows Mobile (now a legacy OS), move to Windows Phone (No equipment available as yet), or move to Android. Many are using iPhones with external scanners.
There is the option of using Win CE, but that ramps up development costs, and its future is also less than certain.
Most of the people we have written Win Mob apps for in the past are moving to either Android or to iPhones with external "ring" scanners.
MS have really shit a brick with this one. They have introduced a consumer phone OS that nobody really wants and put their successful Enterprise device OS on death row.
A massive issue for Win Phone on enterprise devices is that the most popular devices are produced by Motorola. And we know which beb they are lying in.
Silly me - I thought the only requirement for down voting a trolling fanboi was that we actually hate the crap you post regardless of who our employers are.
Its not as suitable for business due to app security issues, in particular apps DON'T share data with each other...
Well that is stupid, but surely that's BETTER for security..?!
Anyways, user base here is happy with the few hundred we have here for email etc.
"The youngest of the smartphone operating systems is less mature than either Google's Android or Apple's iOS"
I'm no fan of WinPhone, but.. well, duh.
The thing is, I doubt Microsoft actually care.. iOS and Android both went through this stage, and both sold like hotcakes, despite being 'not ready for the enterprise'.
Re: Is Windows Phone 7 fit for anything?
Barry, you clearly wrote your post to elicit as many downvotes as possible. It was - even by your standards - a piss-poor troll (which I can't believe I'm feeding) don't whinge when you get downvotes.