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Mobile Security and BYOD Are Security Areas to Watch

Sue Marquette Poremba
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Six Mobile Security Issues in 2012

When security experts were making their 2012 threat predictions, the rise in mobile malware and the increasing need for better mobile security were high on everyone's list. BYOD - bring your own device - was beginning to make its way into the security discussion.

 

Now it appears these two important issues are moving to the front of the security discussion. Or, at least they are being considered serious enough that I've noticed two things happening.

 

First, at the RSA Conference 2012, mobile security will, for the first time ever, be given its own session track. Last year, I was able to sit in on a number of sessions and interviews where mobile security was discussed, but it was in addition to the topic at hand, not the primary focus. This year, it will be a primary focus - and based on the number of announcement emails I've received over the past month, we can expect a lot of announcements regarding the latest in mobile security applications, ideas and concerns.

 

And now, you can't talk about mobile devices or mobile security issues without discussing BYOD. According to a SearchSecurity.com article:

The BYOD phenomenon has also created a myriad of legal and technical challenges for enterprises. How does an enterprise ensure standard security best practices are enforced without putting severe restrictions on an employee's personally owned device? RSA 2012 offers at least six sessions addressing BYOD issues.


The second thing I noticed that has put mobile security and BYOD into the spotlight is the number of surveys coming out focusing on these issues. You don't conduct surveys unless a topic has grown into a major concern or issue, so the fact that yesterday I saw three brand-new surveys on mobile security, BYOD or both tells me just how much people are thinking - or how much security experts want businesses to be thinking - about these issues. A sample of these surveys include:

 

 

 

  • And finally, Symantec released its 2012 State of Mobility Survey. The survey highlighted an uptake in mobile applications across organizations with 71 percent of enterprises at least discussing deploying custom mobile applications and one third currently implementing or have already implemented custom mobile applications. It also said that 41 percent of survey respondents identified mobile devices as one of their top three IT risks.

 

No doubt I will be talking more about mobile security over the coming year, as I have for the past year or two. But I do believe, between the RSA and surveys, we are beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the importance of mobile security in today's workplace.


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