European Mobile Security Zooming Up To The Cloud

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IDC says mobile management and security in Europe is heading for massive growth in the cloud

The value of the European enterprise mobile management and security industry is set to explode and the cloud will be at the epicentre, according to a study by analysts IDC.

IDC says that by 2015 the industry in Western Europe will be worth $763 million (£470m), 30 percent more than what it was worth in 2010.

It also says that European firms prefer SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for managing and securing mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets because of their increased speed-to-market over traditional methods.

Nicholas McQuire, IDC research director for Mobile Enterprise Strategies said: “Customers rationalising mobility requirements today often don’t have the time, resource, or business case to pilot, evaluate, install, and configure Capex-based on-premises solutions, so they are turning to the cloud, both public and private, as an alternative to be up and running in hours as opposed to days.”

Approaching crunch time

Driven by the consumerisation of IT, the acceleration of mobile enterprise applications, and cloud computing, enterprise mobile security and management is coming to a head, according to IDC.

McQuire said : “Enterprise mobility is becoming mission-critical, but implementing security, policy, and compliance across a diverse set of devices, networks, and applications remains a hurdle.”

Nathan Marke, CTO at managed services provider 2E2 says he has also seen a significant preference for SaaS rather than on-premise solutions. He also says the most pressing mobile security concern is the need for basic control services such as data encryption and remote device lock and wipe.

Marke said: “As enterprises wake up to the threat represented by unstructured corporate data being stored and accessed on mobile devices, we are likely to see more of them wanting the ability to administer consistent policies across their fixed and mobile estates.”

Confronting consumerisation

IDC recently predicted 120 million more smartphones and tablets than PCs will ship by 2015 and, in the hands of technology savvy employees, many of these devices slip into the enterprise through the back door, raising questions about liability for security of any corporate data accessed.

Back in June Vodafone launched a white paper dealing with the issue, which was discussed at a roundtable event in London. IDC’s McQuire was on the panel and said at the time that companies that step up and address mobile devices in the work place will actually become more secure than those who attempt to ignore or control consumerisation.

“This is actually in some respects an effective carrot for employees to pay a little bit more attention to information security and policy,” he said.

However, even as smartphones are beginning to present an ever more worthwhile target for malware producers, security firm Sophos said this week that Brits fail to even password protect their mobiles.

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