Growth in the smart connected device (SCD) market this year will enforce the need for businesses to place mobile technology at the forefront of security concerns. Failing to do so could result in data breaches, leaks and reputation damage.
PCs, tablets and smartphones saw shipments climb over 16 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 in the United Kingdom alone, with other parts of the world experiencing similar growth. This data comes out of a recent report from the International Data Corporation (IDC). These devices will likely have found their way into workplaces across the country.
It's a certainty many businesses still lack mobile security policies due to the fast-moving nature of the sector. The mobile market has been undergoing rapid growth in terms of both hardware and software, pushing the capabilities of devices exponentially.
Ten years ago, a mobile device presented little threat to an enterprise, but now the abundance of smart connected portable computers is a mounting concern.
"The accelerated adoption of tablets is having a significant impact on the way consumers and businesses use and consider their computing devices," said Chrystelle Labesque, research manager at IDC EMEA Personal Computing.
The majority of these users will largely utilise devices for personal reasons within the confines of a company, but a certain percentage will almost certainly attempt to download company files, disrupt networks and damage systems.
Security in this area is something businesses cannot ignore, as the benefits of smart connected devices are extremely important. Penetration testing and ethical hacking methods will need to be used in workplaces with high mobile device implementation.
In the past, communication avenues were limited for enterprises, consisting largely of email and standard calling. Devices now allow instant messaging, HD video calling and document collaboration – allowing for a significant streamlining of communication.
"New form factors are supporting increasing versatility, opening new usage scenarios and new growth opportunities for the industry," Ms Labesque explained.
Businesses that fail to invest in proper security could see permanent financial and reputation damage.