Enterprises Want Broad Functionality for Mobile Device Security

Networking, endpoint security and device management vendors are all focused on this market

Now that we all have an assortment of iPhones, Droids, tablet devices, and Windows devices, lots of industry folks believe that mobile security is the next hot market. There are a number of players already in this market from pure plays like Good Security and Mobile Active Defenses. Traditional endpoint security vendors like McAfee see this as an extension of its antivirus business. Symantec is in the same boat with antivirus as well as encryption software from PGP. Networking vendors also see up-side in the mobile device security market. Cisco has AnyConnect and ScanSafe while Juniper Networks wants to combine its Pulse client with its recent acquisition of SMobile. These vendors come at mobile security from many different angles with different security functionality in different places -- some on the device and some on the network. Will this confuse the market? No. Enterprises are actually looking for a wide range of mobile device security functionality. According to an ESG Research survey of 174 security professionals working at enterprise (i.e. more than 1,000 employees) organizations, the top three most important mobile device features are 1) device encryption, 2) device firewall, and 3) strong authentication. They also want things like DLP, VPN, and device locking. Beyond security functionality, most enterprises also want an integrated platform for mobile device security and management. In other words, they want a single software package for device provisioning, configuration, reporting, etc. They also want a common set of features for all mobile devices rather than a potpourri of different features for iPhone, Windows 7, Droid, Palm, etc. It appears then that the mobile device security market will include networking, security, and management vendors along with device manufacturers and carriers as well. Personally, I think mobile device security will have a network architecture look to it, with technology safeguards built into devices, the enterprise, and the cloud. If this happens, integration will be critical for all leading products.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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