nCircle, a provider of automated security and compliance auditing solutions, recently announced the results of the nCircle 2011 Smartphone Study. And it shows that Apple may have a security perception problem.

The results are based on a survey of 551 respondents in the IT security industry, including senior management, IT operations, security professionals and risk and audit managers. Highlights of the study include:

° Seventy-one percent respondents identify Google Android devices as presenting the highest level of smartphone security risk, a considerable increase from 39% in 2010.

° Security concern about Apple iOS devices is also high, with 60% of respondents assigning the highest level of smartphone security risk to these devices.

° Sixt-two percent of respondents say their companies have a smartphone security policy, compared with 58% in 2010.

° Only 56% of respondents say their companies enforce their smartphone policy, a dramatic decrease compared with 66% in 2010.

“Presumably, the sudden adoption of Android and iOS in the enterprise is behind the inability of many firms to enforce their smartphone security policies,” says Oliver Lavery, director of security research and development for nCircle. “It’s reasonable to assume that the consumerization of IT is driving enterprise adoption of these devices, but policies written around Research In Motion products are not enforceable on iOS and Android devices. It’s possible that many firms haven’t updated their policies to reflect the new consumer smartphone reality. Unfortunately, it looks like these important policies have fallen to the wayside, at least temporarily.”

The survey was conducted between March 17 and March 25, 2011, and covered a range of security topics. To see the complete study, go to

— Dennis Sellers