TORONTO/SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 24 (Reuters) – A slew of small
security software developers are helping Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL)
iPhone gain a foothold within corporations that were once the
exclusive domain of Research In Motion’s (TO:RIM) BlackBerry.
The shift reflects efforts by some companies to accommodate
the preference of many employees for Apple’s iconic smartphone,
a trend that has led software makers to develop programs to
deliver secure email and other data over the iPhone.
To be sure, the status of BlackBerry’s security features as
the industry standard is not under threat. But the new programs
could mean that many employees may no longer have to carry a
company-sponsored BlackBerry in addition to their store-bought
One company that is experimenting is Deutsche Bank
(DE:DBKGn). In conjunction with California-based software maker
Good Technology, the German bank is delivering corporate email
to some employees in a trial that its internal analyst said was
"overwhelmingly positive" despite some minor flaws.
"You’re seeing consumers, or employees, bring their iPhones
in to IT managers and ‘say make this work,’" Deutsche’s Chris
Whitmore said by telephone.
Good and other security specialists like MobileIron and
NetHawk are developing programs that can provide the extra
assurances required by financial services and healthcare
providers, which require airtight communications.
"What they’re very good at doing is going into an
enterprise where they’re very concerned about security and say
we’re going to beef up the iPhone and iPad because they’re not
very secure," analyst Jack Gold of J.Gold Associates said,
referring to Good Technologies.
"It basically puts a lockbox around an unsecure device," he
Good says it has more than 4,000 enterprise customers,
including 40 Fortune 100 companies and more than 100 of the
Fortune 500 companies.