Mobile Security Driving Need for Security and Device Management

A survey on mobile security released on Monday by Good Technology, a handheld computing software and service provider, suggests enterprises are seeking new ways to address handheld device and security management.

The survey, conducted by Zoomerang, an online market researcher, is based on nearly 600 U.S.-based IT professionals and members of executive management at organizations with 150 to 16,000 employees. Responding companies represent a spectrum of vertical industries deploying mobile messaging and corporate application access solutions.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents consider e-mail the greatest security risk among the applications deployed on mobile devices, followed by corporate intranet applications, which 26 percent of respondents regard as the greatest vulnerability.

Forty-eight percent of respondents say having to open firewalls to allow inbound wireless device traffic concerns them most. Therefore, 30 percent of respondents are not likely to deploy a wireless solution that requires opening firewall ports, making perimeter security a top priority when selecting a mobile e-mail solution.

On-device data encryption remains top of mind for IT administrators. The survey indicates 59 percent will not deploy a solution that does not encrypt data on the device. In addition, 65 percent of individuals surveyed say wireless virus protection, along with the ability to update virus files over the air, are very important handheld security features.

Although the ability to detect and control applications on handhelds remains a top concern, the study concludes the majority of enterprises do not have standard operating procedures to address this issue; 70 percent of respondents do not have an automated mechanism to determine which applications mobile users have on their devices. Only half (53 percent) are able to enforce security and password policies consistently and effectively on devices without end-user dependency.