How Windows Phone 8 security compares to iOS and Android

Microsoft finally delivers a smartphone platform that businesses can accept, but overall, it still falls short of the iPhone

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When you compare Windows Phone 8's EAS policy support to that of Windows Phone 7.5, there's not much difference. "Microsoft has not really added much on the management end," notes Halebeed. A critical addition is support for encryption on the device (it's on by default for internal storage, but not for SD cards) and the related support for EAS's encryption policies. The lack of support for encryption had been one of the biggest barriers to Windows Phone's business acceptance. Microsoft also supports the new information rights management (IRM) EAS policy, which lets companies enable rights management for data on devices; Microsoft of course has an IRM server product that this is intended to work with.

Android's EAS support has increased in each version, with Android 4 supporting more EAS policies than previous versions. However, various Android devices may support more policies than what Table 1 shows, because smartphone makers like HTC, Motorola Mobility, and Samsung support additional EAS policies on at least some of their devices.

Table 1: EAS policy support compared

  Apple Google Microsoft
  iOS 6 Android 4 Android 3 Android 2 Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 7.5 Windows Mobile 6
Allow device encryption Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Require device encryption Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Encrypt storage card NA Yes No No Yes No Yes
Minimum password length Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Minimum number of complex characters (password)

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Password history Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Device wipe threshold Yes Yes  Yes No Yes

Yes

 Yes
Disable removable storage No No No No No No Yes
Disable camera Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Disable SMS text messaging No No No No No No Yes
Disable Wi-Fi No No No No No No Yes
Disable Bluetooth No No No No No No Yes
Disable IrDA NA No No No No No Yes
Require manual sync while roaming Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Allow Internet sharing from device No No No No No No Yes
Allow desktop sharing from device No No No No No No Yes

Disable email attachment access

Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes
Disable POP3/IMAP4 email No No No No No No Yes
Allow consumer email No No No No No No Yes
Allow browser Yes No No No No No Yes
Configure message formats (HTML or plain text) No No No No No No Yes
Include past email items (days) Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email body truncation size (KB) No No No No No No Yes
HTML email body truncation size (KB) No No No No No No Yes
Include past calendar items (days) No No No Yes No No Yes
Require signed S/MIME messages No No No No No No Yes
Require encrypted S/MIME messages No No No No No No Yes
Require signed S/MIME algorithm No No No No No No Yes
Require encrypted S/MIME algorithm No No No No No No Yes
Allow S/MIME encrypted algorithm negotiation No No No No No No Yes
Allow S/MIME soft certs No No No No No No Yes
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