Try asking an Apple supporter why they prefer iPhones to Android smartphones. One of the reasons that they will give is that the iPhone is more secure than the Android phone. When you compare iOS and Android, you will realize that both these operating systems are quite different. Although Android is the more dominant system in the market, it is also thought to be more vulnerable because of its open and adaptable nature. iOS, on the other hand, is considered to be more secure of the two options because it is more limited.
A security researcher at Tripwire, Craig Young, said, “The consolidation of personal data on smartphones has made them a natural target for malware campaigns. While trusted app stores do a lot to reduce exposure to malware, examples of apps slipping past vendor review processes are not hard to come by”.
Google Pixel’s Security
Even though most tech geeks and cybersecurity experts still believe that iOS is more secure than Android, the director of security at Android, Adrian Ludwig, does not share this sentiment.
At a security conference in Manhattan on 1st November 2016, Ludwig stated that Google Pixel is at par with iPhones in terms of security. He said, “For almost all threat models, they are nearly identical of their platform-level capabilities”.
He also said that “in the long term” Android will be better off than iOS. Ludwig did not mention any specific reasons for his belief, however, it may be because open source software like Android allows for more people to identify the security problems.
At the O’Reilly Security Conference, Ludwig also mentioned about ‘Safety Net’, which is a built-in security software in Android. This application is capable of scanning over 6 billion apps and approximately 400 million devices each day. It is because of this software that only a few Android smartphones are usually affected by malware.
In fact, Ludwig even showed a graph which shows that Potentially Harmful Applications or PHAs only affect about one percent of Android devices.
Security of Android is often misunderstood
Ludwig also spoke about Android’s misunderstood security at this conference, how even though there are rumors about Android-based threats, there still hasn’t been a real-world attack yet. Talking about the controversial Stagefright bugs, Ludwig said, “At this point we still don’t have any confirmed instances of exploitation in the wild”. In his speech, he stressed that Android is very secure and it is impossible for anyone to target multiple people at the same time on this platform.
Ludwig maintains, “Mass exploitation is something that I’m not expecting that we’re going to see at any point in the Android ecosystem”.
To conclude, the Android operating system in Google Pixel seems to be on the same level as the iPhone 7 when it comes to security. So, you can now switch to Android if security was your main concern with this operating system.