The Android operating system is less secure than Apple's iOS, according to a new in-depth evaluation conducted by security firm Symantec.

The good news is that both smartphone tribes are more secure than traditional PCs.

The bad news is that neither of is really that secure anyway, with Symantec seeming to conclude that businesses would be wise to keep their data off smartphones altogether.

Data rater

iOS is more robust because Apple's app vetting system is more rigorous, the company found – this means less malware can sneak into your iPhone or iPad via a rogue app.

Android, however, is more open and this means more open to attack, including network attacks, nasty malware and misplacing data if the handset is lost or stolen.

Both are also vulnerable when syncing with cloud-based services, which leaves data stored on devices in danger of being compromised.

Mixed bag

Symantec Fellow and chief architect Carey Nachenberg said, "Today's mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security.

"While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks.

"Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers."

Obviously this research is talking mainly to the super-paranoid, businesses and super-paranoid businesses – day to day users are probably going to be safe enough, as long as you don't download any dodgy-looking apps.

But with the rise of the mobile wallet and more financial details being stored on our smartphones, handset security is going to become more and more important.

Via Telegraph