Mobile devices continue their march toward becoming powerful productivity machines. But they are also major security risks if they aren't managed properly. We look at the latest wisdom and best practices for securing the mobile workforce. Companies of all sizes are scrimping on mobile security, failing to use mobile device management, antivirus and anti-malware and practically inviting attacks, according to Verizon's Mobile Security Index report. The report, based on 700 respondents from companies of all sizes, has a host of conflicting data points, but the common theme is that mobile security is lax.
Mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) are increasingly important to enterprises, as these technologies enhance communication and productivity in multiple industry sectors. "Consumers are demanding access anytime, anywhere, anyhow," said Sean Peasley, a partner at Deloitte's Cyber Risk Services practice. "The data those devices collect will grow exponentially with market and application growth, allowing for more in-depth analysis and near-real-time responsiveness." The rise of mobile paved the way for IoT -- interest in which is up across enterprises, Peasley said. Some 38 percent of tech leaders said their companies are currently using IoT devices, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey.
"The increasing prevalence of BYOD acceptance means that procurement is no longer making all the purchasing decisions based on standards, and users are connecting a wider variety of devices to the network. These devices may have different technical characteristics, such as operating system and filesystem structure, so the protection technology likely varies. Security is always more difficult in a varied environment, adding challenges for the security department. The various devices that comprise this new type of endpoint require multiple solutions, all of which must be integrated into the overall strategy for protecting the enterprise." In its 2016 Magic Quadrant, analyst firm Gartner identifies four main functions performed by EMM suites: provisioning; auditing, tracking and reporting; enterprise data protection; and support.
Without a doubt, mobile devices and the apps that go with them have transformed the way employees do their jobs and also entertain themselves while at work. As employees start to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work and with more companies encouraging that, ensuring mobile app security at the workplace is becoming a nightmare. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets along with the apps on them are no longer an option. The fact is we are all sucked into this ecosystem and are now dependent on these to function on a daily basis. Small companies and large corporations alike have given their workers the privilege to bring in their own devices to provide the level of flexibility needed in today's work environments.
IoT adopters, quite rightly, have serious concerns about the security of the IoT devices and networks that they deploy. Because security is yet to be built into the design phase of these devices; they are inherently insecure -- and future manufacturers must respond to this. Research carried out by the IMC, (the International IoT M2M council) and commissioned by Pod Group confirms this. It also found a demand for dedicated IoT security solutions for IoT devices already in the market. As edge computing begins to come into play as well, edge security must be considered.