Gartner reports on changing mobile trends

June 08, 2012

With a rising number of businesspeople encouraged to use their own mobile devices – rather than company-owned phones – for work, mobile security is becoming an increasingly important consideration.

According to new research from Gartner, IT developers need to take a more proactive approach to mobile security – and rather than a single-standard solution, developers may wish to instead consider “managed diversity”.

This term refers to flexible strategies for managing a range of mobile devices – including those that are owned by individuals and the business.

“This is the only approach that helps IT leaders maintain control over mobility, and supports bring-your-own-device programs,” said Gartner research director Terrence Cosgrove

He explained that an effective mobile device management (MDM) strategy hinges on the ability of operations and security teams to co-ordinate effectively.

Specific mobile security measures must be taken to ensure that devices are configured to match company policy, Gartner suggests, noting that many corporate policies call for devices to be password-protected , or for the ability for sensitive information to be wiped in the event of a security breach.

Cosgrove explained: “Because of the complexity of the mobile device landscape, there must be a person or group responsible for monitoring this landscape and for understanding users’ demands for new types of device and the impact that new platforms have on applications.”

He added that security professionals and the monitoring individual or group need to meet on a regular basis to address any changes in the technological landscape – and to assess their impact on the security of an organisation.

Adopting a managed diversity strategy can help companies keep costs down in the long run, Gartner noted, particularly when it comes to user productivity.

Having support from the IT department is crucial when it comes to security, the research body added, as otherwise users may attempt to circumvent IT standards – and therefore increase the risk of noncompliance costs.

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