Getting Serious with Mobility Security

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Nov 17, 2015 3:29:21 PM

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Getting Serious with Mobility Security

Email and infrastructure security have certainly been among the most widely discussed matters for companies in the past few years, but mobility remains as one of the more significant threats to data protection and corporate information control. Despite the fact that strategies including BYOD and other approaches to mobility have been around for about five years now, the average firm is still far behind when it comes to managing apps, devices and users therein.

Lost or stolen devices that have not been properly secured and contain sensitive information are among the most common sources of breach today, and there are no signs that this is going to change anytime soon. What's more, investments have continued to pour into mobility, as organizations aggressively work to expand the programs and improve their productivity, engagement and efficiency in the process, but without consistent prioritization of security.

One report from Transparency Market Research found that companies spent an estimated $86.4 billion on enterprise mobility in 2014, but will continue to put more budget into these assets as time goes on rather than slowing down. The analysts called for a compound annual growth rate of 24.7 percent between 2014 and 2022, which would mean $510.4 billion in global annual spending on enterprise mobility by the end of the survey period.

If you would like a rundown of what small-business owners should be considering when developing their mobility strategies and refining security protocols, check out this video from the Wireless Tech Forum:

Health care providers and others should be working toward more progressive management of enterprise mobility programs, as well as the fortification of backend systems and IT to ensure that these mostly beneficial initiatives do not end up causing major losses of data. Secure cloud services and other solutions can go a long way toward boosting resilience to mobile threats, but policies and strategies will also need to be ironed out soon to truly protect the company.

Understanding issues
Tech Cocktail recently listed its top five concerns related to enterprise mobility for this year, affirming that applications have been at the center of many problems and challenges for a while now and will likely continue to be moving forward. It is worth pointing out that research has found the majority of organizations are using mobile device management solutions, which is good considering how few were only a couple of years ago, but application tools are still scarce across industries.

When a company only handles devices and not apps, it will be leaving a massive hole in its security programs that hackers can easily thwart to break into sensitive storage environments and other systems. However, the source pointed out that app security is not the only piece of the puzzle, as companies also need to ensure that the software is developed, distributed and integrated properly to actually have a positive impact on operations.

Mobility can translate to more opportunity or enhanced risk depending upon strategy. Mobility can translate to more opportunity or enhanced risk depending upon strategy.

Still, security was Tech Cocktail's top-cited challenge for BYOD and other mobility programs, and the source argued that quicker and more comprehensive deployments of enterprise mobility management solutions can help to get these matters in order before long. According to the news provider, mobile access from smartphones both within the workplace and outside of it should be a focus going forward, and more progressive authentication solutions might be the best options to get these specific issues into safer standings.

Finally, Tech Cocktail noted that there will be plenty more challenges to come given the speed with which devices are evolving, and more fluid systems and management programs should be leveraged to overcome the complexities therein. Secure cloud services will often boost the organization's ability to embrace new technology while still maintaining control of information and compliance with privacy regulations.

In that same vein, entrepreneurs should expect more regulatory overhauls in the coming years, including those that are specialized to target enterprise mobility-related processes. Europe is set to launch the Global Data Protection Regulation, while American lawmakers are also getting serious with their legislative adjustments given the sheer magnitude of economic loss that is tied back to lackluster security. 

To balance new deployments with compliance, measures must be taken today by all members of the small business sector. 

Explosion continues
Organizations are investing more in enterprise mobility at a high rate, but consumer spending on smartphones has not begun to slow yet either. International Data Corporation recently reported that the smartphone market saw its "second highest level" of shipments ever in the third quarter of this year, reaching 355.2 million units around the globe and showing a 6.8 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

"Employees will bring their devices into the workplace regardless of policies."

This is an important matter to watch for health care leaders and decision-makers in enterprises given the ways in which employees will bring their devices into the workplace regardless of policies or management demands. More advanced smartphones will translate to novel security and support requirements, and these are seemingly the most highly demanded among consumers today.

"The third quarter placed a substantial emphasis on flagship devices as vendors tried to outclass each other in both features and design," IDC Research Manager for Mobile Phones Anthony Scarsella affirmed. "New flagship models translated to fiercer competition at the high-end for most players as many will try to challenge both Samsung and Apple for a place among the elite. However, despite the glitz and glamor at the high-end, we still expect the bulk of volume and growth to once again sprout from low to mid-range handsets, particularly in emerging markets."

By leveraging managed services, small and mid-sized health care providers, as well as other entrepreneurial firms, will be able to more quickly wrangle their enterprise mobility programs and maintain strong security. With many studies indicating that mobile devices are already the most concerning assets when it comes to data breach risk, and these threats to only become more complex as the Internet of Things heats up, the time is now to get these matters in order. 

Topics: Business Communications