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The Risks and Rewards of Enterprise Mobility
A look at the results of Symantec's 2012 State of Mobility Survey Results

A Contributed Article by Brad Rowland, Senior Director, Endpoint Management and Mobility, Symantec

The positive impact the current onslaught of mobile technology - especially smartphones and tablets - is having on the enterprise is reminiscent of other equally game-changing developments, such as the PC and the Internet.

However, just as they did with PCs and the Web, companies are experiencing the growing pains of the mobile explosion. How to enable mobility while securing sensitive corporate information on mobile devices is one of the most pressing concerns of the modern CIO.

To better understand both the positive impact of mobility on the enterprise as well as the mobile-related challenges organizations are facing, Symantec conducted a survey of 6,275 organizations of all sizes in 43 countries earlier this year. The results are telling.

Mobility is reality

The first key finding of the survey is that mobility is the new reality. Smartphones and tablets seem to be nearly ubiquitous in today's business landscape. IT departments are coming to terms with how to manage these devices and the sensitive data on them.

As a result, 59 percent of respondents to the survey said their companies are now making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices. Even more impressive, mobile device enablement is becoming so widespread in organizations that 71 percent of businesses are now looking to implement their own corporate "app store" for mobile applications.

The mobile explosion is for good reason

The survey also looked at the underlying motivations behind the mobile explosion. When asked what benefits businesses hope to achieve with mobility, the top responses were increased efficiency, increased workplace effectiveness, and reduced time required to accomplish tasks. These, of course, have always been chief goals for organizations of all sizes, but companies are turning to mobility to deliver these results like never before.

It is, of course, one thing for companies to hope for these outcomes as a result of a greater focus on mobile technologies, but quite another to actually achieve results. In fact, rarely are such goals actually met when implementing a new technology. However, the survey found that mobility is changing the rules. Nearly three-quarters of respondents stated that not only was increasing efficiency through mobility a key goal, but the entire 73 percent said they achieved that gain.

The challenges are top of mind

Although mobility offers great opportunity for companies, concerns surrounding it are abundant. As a result, significant resources are being consumed to address it. Organizations stated that 31 percent of their IT staff members are in some way involved with mobility.

The top priorities demanding IT's time and resources are mobile security, mobile backup and lost or stolen devices. Not only that, but nearly half of the organizations that participated in the survey view mobility as "somewhat to extremely difficult." In fact, 41 percent of respondents cited mobility as one of the top three risk areas for IT-even greater than public cloud computing, virtualization and Web 2.0.

The top mobile-related concerns for IT include device loss, data leakage, unauthorized access to corporate resources and malware infection. Due to these perceived risks, most companies are also discussing security measures, such as anti-malware software and the ability to remotely lock and wipe devices. However, the survey shows that less than half of the organizations have actually taken the necessary steps to implement such measures.

Concerns are not unfounded

Not only are these perceived risks on IT's radar, but these risks are actually taking a toll on businesses as measured in financial loss. The fact of the matter is - as highlighted by the survey - small and large businesses alike are indeed seeing damages mount due to mobility-related security issues. They have suffered a variety of losses, measured by direct financial expenses, loss of data and damage to brands or loss of customer trust.

More specifically, within the last 12 months, the average cost of these losses was a surprising $247,000 overall. Large enterprises and small businesses are largely experiencing the same kinds of loss, but to a very different degree - small businesses averaged $126,000 of loss, while enterprises averaged $429,000.

Mobility is worth it

Although mobility comes with challenges and risks, the survey found that organizations feel the benefits of mobility are well worth it. In fact, no less than 71 percent of respondents said they, at the very least, break even on the risks versus rewards of mobility.


As mobile technology continues to advance, so too do the risks discussed above. The fight to win the mobile risks versus rewards battle is becoming more difficult. Symantec offers a comprehensive set of solutions to help companies get the most out of their mobile deployments. This solution set includes:

Symantec Mobile Management

Symantec Mobile Management is a scalable mobile device management (MDM) platform designed to enable, secure and manage mobile devices. It enables enterprise-wide mobile email and application rollouts, safeguards mobile data and devices and provides visibility and control of the mobile environment. It is available as a standalone MDM solution, an integrated MDM with Altiris IT Management Suite from Symantec and an integrated MDM for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.

Nukona App Center from Symantec

Nukona App Center from Symantec is a cross-platform mobile application management solution designed to help IT organizations protect and isolate corporate data and applications across both corporate-owned and personally-owned devices without requiring the management of complete devices. It does this by enabling enterprises to "wrap" both native and web-based apps with a management layer so IT can apply security policies without requiring any changes to the applications, leaving personal apps and activities untouched.

Symantec Mobile Security for Android

Symantec Mobile Security for Android protects corporate-connected Android devices from app and Internet borne threats. It leverages Symantec's proprietary technology that monitors and analyzes millions of Android apps available on app stores around the world. Supported by Symantec's Global Intelligence Network, it utilizes Symantec's anti-malware detection technology from Norton Mobile Security.

Symantec Mobile Security Assessment Suite

The Symantec Mobile Security Assessment Suite is a set of services that help enterprises evaluate their mobile security postures and develop defenses against mobile threats and vulnerabilities. Leveraging Symantec's extensive knowledge base and deep technical and operational skill sets, the Symantec Mobile Security Assessment Suite provides enterprises with strategic and tactical recommendations for the secure deployment of mobile devices and applications.

Symantec Encryption

Symantec recently expanded its encryption solution set with the introduction of Symantec PGP Viewer for iOS, which enables mobile workers to view encrypted email on an Apple iPad, iPhone, or iTouch. IT organizations can now respond to the pressure from users (often from the executive team) who see iOS devices as their platform of choice, by offering ways to let them use what they want while at the same time keeping data safe from unauthorized access.

Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Mobile

Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Mobile is designed to monitor and protect sensitive information on smartphones and tablets. Combined with Symantec Mobile Management, Data Loss Prevention for Mobile provides a comprehensive solution to enable organizations to support business productivity and personal use concurrently.

Symantec Strong Authentication for Mobile Use Cases

Enterprises supporting mobile users by providing remote access to their networks and applications need strong authentication solutions which provide a high level of assurance that people and applications really are who or what they say they are. Symantec provides a broad set of options for mobile strong authentication requirements.

Symantec PKI-based Authentication for Mobile Applications and Device Management

Using digital certificates provided by Symantec Managed PKI Service, enterprises can leverage strong digital certificate authentication credentials for both enterprise authentication security and back-end mobile device management infrastructure.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:45 AM by David Marshall
The Risks and Rewards of Enterprise Mobility « VT News - (Author's Link) - August 15, 2012 9:00 AM
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