Is The Android Operating System Safe Enough For Mission Critical Data?

There is a war going on but not the type of war that people usually think of.

This is a war of business.

It is a battle for the hearts and minds of millions of consumers who have switched over to the smart phone as their main way of using the internet.

If it is not the main way then it is, at least, a heavily used way.

Is the Android operating system safe enough

The use of smart phones have really sky rocketed in the past couple of years and we are surely not going to see the trend die anytime soon.

As a matter of fact, we are going to see the smart phone being used more and more in everyday life.

This means that the battle will only intensify.

The main players on the stage right now are the IPhone, Blackberry, and the Android operating system based phones that are on the market.

In this article I will focus mostly on the Android operating system.

The question that we have before us is whether the Android operating system is safe enough when it comes to security, for business needs.

I hope to answer that in this article.

While the Blackberry is still king when it comes to business, the IPhone is slowly catching up.

Will the phones that have the Android operating system soon be able to join the race?

What Is An Android Based Phone?

While not new the Android operating system is one of the latest on the market.

While a year ago, people may have had a hard time trying to pick one out now the operating system is on so many phones, that people finally know them now.

And that is the key in the fight between Android based phones and the others.

Google released the operating system for free to the phone manufacturers hoping that they would release phones that had it installed.

Manufacturers did and the phones have been steadily getting better and better.

So now at this point, Android based phones are some of the hottest phones on the market.

Since the phone is becoming such a hot commodity businesses are starting to see them more and more at the office place.

A few years ago businesses had to deal with the migration of the many IPhones that people were buying.

After years of having networks that catered to people with Blackberries, they had to adjust and now make sure that the system was still safe when people with IPhones logged into it.

Now, once again, IT administrators are going through the same kind of problems with the Android phones that are out on the market.

And Android based phones might be a little more difficult to deal with than the IPhone because it is made by different manufacturers and each one tends to be a little different than the other.

Security Problems That You May Have With An Android Based Phone

The gift and the curse of the phones based on Android are the fact that it is so open.

As an end user, you are allowed to install your own applications on the phone by the use of the app store.

Not only that but you can go on the web and download and install apps that are not officially in the app store too.

In the latter case it means that no one has vetted the program and you are taking the web site at its word that nothing will go wrong.

Because of this, Android based operating systems are able to introduce viruses not only to themselves but to the networks that they connect to.

Most Android phones are based on the ARM processor so there is a good chance that an infection on the phone will not infect the rest of the network.

The problem becomes if the phone becomes a carrier for a virus that can infect an x86 computer.

This is when your network is in trouble.

A program on the phone could possibly detect whether you are connected to a network and when it does, release the virus that is for x86 processors into the wild.

How Do You Counteract This?

Besides telling people with Android phones that they cannot connect to your network, there are other ways to go about it.

The best possible answer is to treat Android, and IPhones as well, the same as you do with laptops.

Make sure that people put some sort of antivirus on the phone and also make sure that they do not have full permission to roam the network.

This way if there is an infection that comes from the phone then you will not have to worry about it infecting the entire network, only a certain section of it.

The Android based phones are only getting more popular and you will start to see them more often in the workplace.

Before that happens, make sure that you are prepared.

This way nothing will be able to surprise you when it comes to the smart phones.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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