4 Mobile Security Predictions to Help CIOs Plan for the Future

Few IT issues keep CIOs up at night the way mobile and BYOD do. Four mobile security trends will bring CIOs both restful nights and new challenges in 2013, says Forrester Research.

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Mon, April 15, 2013

CIO — Few things can keep CIOs up at night these days like mobility, particularly bring your own device (BYOD). After all, mobile, consumerization of IT and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) are turning enterprise security models on their heads. Privacy implications--let alone the potential for data loss and data leakage--are enough to make a CIO break out in a cold sweat.

Mobile Security

Both hope and new challenges both are on the way, says Forrester Research Analyst Chenxi Wang, Ph.D., who has identified four trends that she says she believes will affect the future of consumer- and enterprise-facing mobile security.

"These trends paint a picture of seamless, smart-device security capabilities that are embedded in increasingly sophisticated mobile-cloud services, as well as those that are able to integrate with business models enabled by pervasive mobility," she says.

The majority of organizations are already wrestling with the implications of BYOD, says Wang. According to Forrester's Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey, Q4 2012, 70 percent of organizations have adopted some form of BYOD program, and 62 percent of people who use a smartphone for work and 56 percent of those who use a tablet for work purchased those devices themselves.

Mobile Prediction 1: Personal Devices Will Become the Norm

While BYOD has largely been a smartphone and tablet story, Wang predicts that will begin to change in 2013 and beyond. Currently, 39 percent of laptops used for work are owned by an employee while 47 percent are owned by the company.

"However, more and more personally owned laptops are entering the work environment as IT organizations become more flexible with the BYOD culture," Wang says. "For 2013, we see the BYOD trend expanding to include not only post-PC devices but personally owned computers."

As personally owned devices become a common fixture in the enterprise, Wang says IT organizations will have to act rather than react. The demand for more mobile access to company resources and data will have three consequences.

  1. "IT will need to make investments to expand remote access to corporate content and data that traditionally live behind the firewall, including investments in wireless infrastructure, wireless services and mobile security measures," she says.

  2. "Organizations will need to reevaluate their application architectures to include more SaaS and more platform-agnostic applications, which will bring about a significant shift in how organizations acquire applications; the days of on-premises client/server deployments are fading and the days of cloud-hosted, service-driven deployments are ascending.

  3. Organizations will need to reduce spending on wired/fixed communication services while they increase investments in wireless hardware and services."

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