Gartner advises caution on new iPhone's place in companies

Gartner advises caution on new iPhone's place in companies

Apple's upgraded handheld may be capable of doing many of the same things that a laptop or desktop PC can do, it has yet to be proven that the iPhone can be locked down in the same manner as PCs can be

However, Edens dismissed such concerns and said that many of the third-party tools available for other mobile devices are designed to fix "basic security flaws" in individual products. In contrast, the iPhone is secure out of the box, he said.

Nonetheless, the upcoming release of the iPhone 3G increases the need for companies to pay attention to potential security issues surrounding its use by their workers, said Amrit Williams, chief technology officer at BigFix, a security vendor in the US.

Williams said that Apple's new support for third-generation wireless networks and for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync technology, which can be used to push e-mail to iPhones, means that the handheld is much more capable of storing, forwarding and manipulating data than it was before. But, he cautioned, those same capabilities also are likely to make the device a more appealing target for attackers.

"The iPhone is cool, and it is flashy," Williams said. But it also creates new avenues of attack that many enterprises are "just not ready to deal with," he added.

When Apple detailed the iPhone 3G, which will run the second-generation iPhone 2.0 software announced earlier this year, the company touted several new features that it said will make the device more suitable for enterprise uses.

Matt Hamblen contributed to this story.

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