For now, at least, the iPhone remains largely untested from a corporate security standpoint, Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said. He added that although Apple's upgraded handheld may be capable of doing many of the same things that a laptop or desktop PC can do, it has yet to be proven that the iPhone can be locked down in the same manner as PCs can be.
As a result, it may be better for companies to consider providing iPhone access to only a limited set of applications, such as Exchange and Apple's Mail e-mail client, instead of opening up their entire networks to the device, Dulaney said.
"Much about being secure is being consistent," Dulaney said. "If you have two platforms, a PC and a handheld, one of which has years of improvements in security and is very mature, against one that is barely a year old, you are only going to be as secure as the second piece of hardware."
Tauschek said that while organizations should weigh the pros and cons of approving any device, the added enterprise capabilities in the 3G phones - which include remote wipe (the ability to wipe the phone's data if lost) and the ability to sync with Microsoft Exchange Server - make it more suitable for the enterprise space.
"There are benefits in just being able to sync up with Exchange alone," he said. "Because now you can set up group policies in Exchange after the e-mail is pushed out, so if the device is lost or stolen you can wipe out and protect the data."
-- With files from Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld (US)