IT leaders struggling to solve mobility security challenges

ICT solutions and services provider Dimension Data has announced the results of its Secure Enterprise Mobility Report 2013, evaluating the current state of IT security as it relates to enterprise mobility. The report found security concerns are a top issue for IT leadership with 77 percent struggling to solve its challenges. There is also a massive gap between the number of personal devices and applications accessing corporate IT networks and security audits of the applications being touched by these mobile devices, amplifying the security problem.

The 2013 report includes findings from 1,622 IT and security professionals in organizations with more than 250 employees in 22 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.

Despite a massive 82 percent of respondents saying that employees are using personal devices and applications for work, only 32 percent have conducted security audits of applications touched by mobile devices. Moreover, an alarming 90 percent of survey participants said that they do not have the necessary capabilities to stop employees from using their personal mobile devices to access enterprise systems on their own.

In the Americas, the survey found that mobility is a top priority, but due to the explosion of personal devices and applications on corporate networks combined with a lack of investment in enterprise mobility, leaders are struggling with security. For example: 

  • Only 29 percent of respondents have completed a security assessment of key applications touched by mobile devices;
  • Just 31 percent believe their organization has well-defined policies around mobility; and
  • 29 percent say they do not have any type of mobility roadmap in place.

"Having rogue, inadequately protected and unknown devices on the network is just one element of the risk landscape," saidMark Behan, lead solutions security architect, Dimension Data. "In addition to information security risk, server and application infrastructures are also under greater pressure as users, data and devices traverse the network. Not considering the entire enterprise mobility landscape has led to an assumption of risk that is often grossly miscalculated, leaving organizations exposed to financial and reputational threats."

The global results also revealed that due to the extensive lack of investment in corporate enterprise mobility, support resources for mobility appear to be an afterthought for many organizations, with only 35 percent of the survey respondents reporting they've addressed troubleshooting mobility at all. 

"As organizations start to make a move towards investing in mobility, security experts should be involved in the development of the strategy, a key part of which is an audit of applications accessed by mobile devices. With the correct policy and measures, it is possible to support BYOD and enterprise mobility without compromising security," continued Behan.

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