Enterprise Mobile Security Should Be (But Isn't) a Primary Concern, Studies Show

Research reports say IT departments are unprepared to cope with exploding mobility growth.

The term "post-PC" has been tossed around so much to describe the state of technology lately that it is easy to dismiss it as just another seasonal buzzword.

However, recent studies by Global Industry Analysts and CompTIA show that an enormous amount of business actually has shifted away from our desktops to our gadgets, to our smartphones and tablets, and that we have to start taking this post-PC business seriously before we get ourselves in trouble.

Citing the emergence of more sophisticated mobile devices and the growing business application opportunities they present as drivers, Global Industry Analysts' report, "Enterprise Mobility: A Global Strategic Business Report" estimates that by 2017, enterprise mobility will grow to be a $174 billion market.

So theres nothing seasonal about it.

Complementing that, CompTIA's study, "Trends in Enterprise Mobility," provides some alarming statistics demonstrating just how unprepared we are for this market explosion. Among these stats, the most notable are:

  • 84 % of workers use personal mobile devices for business
  • Only 22 % of these companies have a mobile security policy in place

This means right now in your office and in the plant, most employees are accessing the company Ethernet to check email, download files and applications, browse the internet and access the company intranet on almost totally unsecure devices.

This should probably make you a little nervous.

Cybersecurity

According to the CompTIA study, this has been enough to at least make IT nervous, revealing that over 70% of IT staff cite mobile security considerations as the greatest risk to company information. Their concerns focus on six areas that open them to attack:

  • Downloading unauthorized apps (48%)
  • Lost or stolen devices (42%)
  • Mobile-specific viruses and malware (41%)
  • Open Wi-Fi networks (41%)
  • USB flash drives (40%)
  • Personal use of business devices (40%)


Solutions

Two interesting solutions to these concerns have popped this month that may help fill in some of the security gaps leading these concerns.

First, software firm, Partnerpedia, has developed some Enterprise App Store (EAS) solutions to help monitor and control the kind of access users have with their devices.

"The EAS model is significant because it allows IT managers to control the publishing, distribution and management of approved apps to end user devices," the company explained in an announcement. "The model also enables administration functionalities such as virus checking, policy management and user access control."

Another interesting development has been released by enterprise-grade mobile security control company, Good Technology, which has created a Good Mobile Access (GMA) system to protect Android devices working in the enterprise system.

"Consumer use of Android devices has really taken off, and we are seeing increased enterprise adoption, especially among our customers who support formal BYOD programs," said John Herrema, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Good Technology.

"Supporting BYOD means supporting Android devices," he said. "We want to make sure our customers can confidently embrace this trend, increase employee productivity, and not have to compromise on security or compliance."

This secure mobile browser will provide firewall protection for mobile access and allow users to securely access corporate Intranet resources to prevent data loss. As the mobile enterprise market continues to grow toward that $174 billion mark and the "post-PC" claims becoming ever more realistic, these developments and solutions will likely become critical for success and safety.

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