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2/3/2011
08:06 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Application Vendors Still Not Securing Your Data

You don't expect top notch security from an app who's sole purpose is to mimic dozens of variations of human flatulence, but when it comes to banking, email, personal finance and ecommerce, your expectations are a bit higher. Some vendors are taking this seriously and making progress. Others, not so much.

You don't expect top notch security from an app who's sole purpose is to mimic dozens of variations of human flatulence, but when it comes to banking, email, personal finance and ecommerce, your expectations are a bit higher. Some vendors are taking this seriously and making progress. Others, not so much.Security company ViaForensics has been monitoring various applications in their appWatchdog listing and recently added email apps to the mix. They looked at twelve apps that are currently available for either iOS or Android, including the default apps those platforms ship with. Out of the twelve, only one got a passing grade, one got by with just a warning and the other ten got a failing grade.

When it comes to certain types of apps, I tend to be in the "less is more" category. I prefer sticking with the built in email app, for example, even though it tends to have less bells and whistles. Simplicity is often rewarded with faster performance, more consistent operation and better stability. What you may not be rewarded with though is security.

Take Apple's email app for iOS 4. The Exchange implementation protects your password but the data itself isn't stored in a secured manner. The article points out that a typical response from a vendor is these issues really aren't a threat unless someone has physical access to your device. I am sure that will be of great comfort to your IT department, which is charged with securing corporate data.

Android's email app fared worse. It stores your password in plain text. That is a bit odd given the app that passed all of the tests was Google's Gmail app for iOS.

Does information like this impact how you use email on your device?

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