FUD Alert: Apple iPhone ‘isn’t very practical’ and a ‘security risk’ for business

“Apple’s latest gadget, the iPhone, combines three devices into one: an iPod, cellphone and Internet communication device. But while it is a cool device, the iPhone can be a major security risk to corporations who may want to use it as a business tool, according to Ari Tamman [sic: correct name is Tammam], vice-president of channels with Promisec, an internal network security provider. ‘There are quite a number of ways that the iPhone could provide security problems to an organization,’ said Tamman,” Vanessa Ho writes for ConnectIT.

Ho writes, “One such security risk, Tamman pointed out, is the fact that iPhone can act as a mass storage device that can be attached to a computer where an unscrupulous employee could take classified information that is not allowed outside of an organization. ‘That is a huge concern most people are thinking of and [the iPhone] doesn’t offer the piece of mind for security conscious businessmen,’ he added.”

“In addition to data leakage, another security risk to corporations and its assets is that the iPhone can connect to the Internet, either via a USB cable or wirelessly, that can gain access to a corporate network to not only steal information but introduce malicious code or threats,” Ho writes.

Ho writes, “If companies are going to allow their employees to use the iPhone as a business tool, Tamman said that they are going to have to look at what are the avenues into the corporate network the iPhone can use and how it can be secured. The problem here is that since the device is so new there is not yet enough information on its specifications for companies to make clear-cut decisions on how to best secure networks from the device… Aside from the security risks, Tamman added that the iPhone really isn’t very practical for the corporate environment and does not advise corporations to allow it for business use.”

MacDailyNews Take: If there is not yet enough information on its specifications for companies to make clear-cut decisions, then how can Tammam say that iPhone “isn’t very practical for the corporate environment” and advise against iPhone use in business settings?

Ho continues, “One of the problems with the iPhone for corporate use said Tamman is the device doesn’t allow third applications to run on it and that the device has its own Web-based email system that doesn’t support Microsoft Exchange or IBM Lotus Notes, which is what most companies are using today.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPhone supports MS Exchange via IMAP. There is still the question of whether iPhone will support Exchange Direct Push (Engadget has more on that issue here).

Ho continues, “He added that the iPhone is competing with existing PDAs out there like BlackBerry’s or Palm Trios [sic] that provide users with full office functionality such as supporting Exchange and Lotus Notes. ‘There is no real business benefit that is not provided by existing PDA vendors. If I can’t manage my corporate life or business life, [then the iPhone] is really just another gadget, like the iPod music player, but doesn’t give me any enterprise functionality,’ he added.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Apple’s iPhone supports MS Exchange via IMAP. The ability to make phone calls, use visual voicemail, text via SMS, manage massive contact lists, display photos, audio, and videos, browse the web with a full-featured browser, send and receive rich html POP3 or IMAP email, utilize integrated Google Maps, view real-time stock and weather reports, with built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 doesn’t give users any enterprise functionality or allow them to manage their corporate life or business life?

Ho continues, “For now, the device is aimed more at the consumer market and Tamman sees the iPhone being positioned as replacing someone’s iPod or regular cellphone — not one’s BlackBerry.”

Full article here.
The sole purpose of this article as we see it: cast fear, uncertainty, and/or doubt (FUD) upon Apple iPhone use by business people via incorrect statements and/or unfounded speculation while suggesting that corporations stick with BlackBerry or Palm devices instead. The combined public relations departments of all the companies that are threatened by Apple’s iPhone would be hard pressed to produce a more FUD-ridden piece.

Related articles:
Research in Motion downgraded due to Apple iPhone competition – January 23, 2007
RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007
eWeek: Apple iPhone fallout: ‘They must be crying in Nokia-ville and other telephony towns today’ – January 10, 2007
Jefferies downgrades Motorola on fears of market share loss to Apple iPhone – January 10, 2007
Time: ‘iPhone could crush cell phone market pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority’ – January 09, 2007
Apple debuts iPhone: touchscreen mobile phone + widescreen iPod + Internet communicator – January 09, 2007
The massive FUD campaign against Apple’s iPhone ramps up – January 10, 2007

64 Comments

  1. What an idiot. How is this any different than the millions of USB flash drives that go in and out of offices every day?

    BTW, my wife’s company has managed to lock these out – her company laptop won’t recognize the things – so anyone worried about mass storage devices already has the means to deal with it.

    Oh, and the concern is not that something might get OUT, but that something (say the latest virus) might get IN.

    What an idiot. I said that.

  2. YEAH! Cmon now let’s see all the fanboys go crazy! MDN is the biggest of them all! There is “some” truth to the article. You can’t read or edit any Word or Excel files, that is a huge blow for the corperate world. Our company would love the iPhone but it’s flawed in this area and no support for Lotus Notes, yes Lotus Notes SUCKS!No 3G on the phone that’s is so STUPID for the cost of the phone it should have 3G no excuses! Now don’t get all crazy Apple fanboys, Apple might change this later but as of right now corporate america will not embrace this.

  3. Since there is definitely not enough information to make any ascertation about the complete functionality of Apple’s iPhone then this article has absolutely no grounding. From what we know for a fact (via Apple’s web page and Steve Jobs’ keynote) this device is, contrary to the article, perfectly suited for business use. iPhone runs OS X which is inherently more secure than other OS’s that can be mentioned. So as far as security goes, it’s a non-issue.

    Most “smart” phones already give the capability to hold vast amounts of business data so that argument is simply unfounded.

    MDN is absolutely correct. This article is nothing more than a regurgitation of FUD to sway some simple minded individuals in corporate settings. iPhone is, to date and according to what we’ve officially seen and heard about it, the ultimate tool for any corporate setting.

    I wonder who’s paying this guy off to write this article?

    Magic word: “them” Enough said.

  4. Serious question-I have a cheap phone, and its for personal use not business, and I am looking forward to June to possibly upgrade. But regardless of the (many) apparent merits of the “iPhone”, are there that many $500 phones being handed out by large or small businesses to employees?

    If I was running a small business, you can bet my employees and I would NOT be using anything this expensive. Am I missing something here?

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