Feature Article

January 11, 2022

Which Operating System Is More Secure between iOS and Android?



With the rising popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and other related workplace policies that integrate mobile devices into the workday, questions continue about security continue to arise. Often, these mobile devices are gaining confidential and sensitive data, so it is important to be aware of the security of the different operating systems that are being used.

Apple and Android are two of the most popular device manufacturers on the market. Apple and Android have taken over the digital device landscape. When it comes to the security of mobile devices, it's important to find the brand that will fulfill your needs. As cyber security attacks increase, it's important to make sure your phone's data is safe. Many wonder whether Apple devices are more secure than Android devices, leading to the "iOS vs Android" privacy debate.

Which Operating System Is More Secure between iOS and Android?

There are key differences between iOS and Android mobile devices, especially in the manner in which they attempt to mitigate cybersecurity threats. iOS enjoyed the spotlight for several years as the most secure mobile operating system. However, Android to make some headway and close the gap between the two.

You may never find complete security on a mobile device, and regardless of which device and operating system you use, you can still be vulnerable to threats. However, is there a more secure mobile operating system? Should phone users use one over the other? Regardless of where your loyalty lies when it comes to mobile device brands, it's important to understand how safe your device really is. Learning whether iOS devices are more secure than Android devices can help you make more informed decisions.

''Although this is very much up for debate, I believe iOS is a more secure platform and does a better job protecting and securing your data and personal information.''

-Bryan Ferrario | CEO | Alliance Tech Partners

''In my opinion, the iOS operating system is safer in nature than android. Android is, by default, an open platform that allows many to share within its environment. Having said that, in order to have an app loaded onto either mobile device, the process is very different. The approval process for iOS is significantly more strict and, therefore, is inherently more secure.''

-Ilan Sredni | CEO & President | Palindrome Consulting | https://www.pciicp.com - "Delivering Peace of Mind"

''Hands down, iOS takes the crown on this one. The iOS ecosystem and app evaluation are much tighter than Android. Also, given that Android is more of an open-source wherein various phone providers can customize it, it introduces more variability across the ecosystem, increasing the probability of vulnerabilities. Think of it as too many cooks in the kitchen doesn't help keep the recipe consistent. ''   -Ashu Singhal | President | Orion Network Solutions

What Are the Security Advantages/Disadvantages for iOS? 

Over the years, the Apple brand has become known for its robust security and robust operating system. Apple developers continue to make it even more challenging for malicious software to compromise a device. Today, Apple uses more strict guidelines for app integrations. Mobile applications have to pass a thorough testing and review process before they are released, making it more difficult for malicious apps to make their way into Apple's app store.

Said Bryan Ferrario, CEO of Alliance Tech Partners, ''Apps on the App Store are carefully vetted to make sure there is no malware inside the application.  Although the vetting process is not perfect, having only one store that is centrally controlled minimizes the potential for malicious apps to be installed on devices.  The one downside, being a closed-source operating system, is that Apple's code can't be scrutinized for security like Android can, as people outside of Apple don't have access to the source code.''

What Are the Security Advantages/Disadvantages for Androids?

Android is an open-source system. What does this mean? This means that the source code is public and everyone can view it. With Android, anyone can look for potential vulnerabilities and find out how the system works. As an open-source mobile operating system, device manufacturers are able to modify the source code. While many view this aspect as flexible, it does increase the risk of cyberattacks. Altering the source code of the device can create an invitation for cybercriminals.

''One security advantage of Android is that it is open-source, meaning that developers can scrutinize the code and identify and report vulnerabilities. The downside is, being open-source, the end product manufacturer is ultimately responsible for making sure the modified Android code that is installed on their device is ultimately secure, as they need to modify the code to make it work with their device. Not all developers have the same security standards, so the security posture of devices varies between manufacturers'', said Ferrario. 

While open source does have its benefits, it opens up several layers of vulnerabilities because multiple companies are responsible for security and OS updates. That lack of uniform control increases the chances that a vulnerability is created.

Added Ferrario, ''Android does not restrict users to purchasing apps from the Google Play store. Apps purchased from 3rd party stores, which may not scrutinize apps as much, may have malicious code. To be the most secure, buyers need to make sure they purchase products from manufacturers and app stores that have the best security practices.

Which OS Update Has Had the Worst Security Flaws?

''Not sure about the exact update, but one of the worst vulnerabilities in mobile OS history is the MMS vulnerability. An attacker could gain complete control of an Android device by sending an MMS message.''

-Bryan Ferrario | CEO | Alliance Tech Partners

Between Android and Apple, Which App Store Is More Secure?

Apple's stronghold on its App Store has mostly prevented iPhone users from becoming a victim of the type of malware attacks that have impacted Android users. Apple's approach to security has even led to some apps being rejected from Apple's App Store to ensure the App Store remains malware-free. Android's App Store, on the other hand, has been more vulnerable to malicious apps. 

''Although neither is 100% secure, I give Apple the edge. Apple's high level of scrutiny combined with the increased privacy measures Apple has added to iOS, lowers the chances that your personal information and data will be compromised.''

-Bryan Ferrario | CEO | Alliance Tech Partners

The debate about which operating system is more secure is never-ending. Whichever device you prefer to use, we encourage you to learn its operation properly and implement cyber hygiene security best practices.





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