Enterprise mobility slowed by security concerns

While mobile technology continues to move forward in all parts of the business, security issues threaten to slow the progress, according to attendees at this week's MobileIron's user conference.


Mobility is marching forward in the enterprise in all sorts of ways, say some 430 companies at MobileIron's user conference in San Francisco this week. Yet they're facing the same stiff hurdle -- namely, security. These were the key highlights of the keynote session, which included a special guest appearance by an Uber executive.

On the upside, mobility in the enterprise has room to grow. MobileIron asked attendees to give inspirational mobile ideas that will benefit customers, employees and shareholders alike, as well as rate these ideas. The most popular ones concerned security, such as having a security application that's available anytime, anywhere across a range of devices, thus allowing employees to work from home or while traveling.

Even Uber is making moves in the mobility market with its new business initiative. Corporate road warriors can now use an Uber app that's tied to their companies. The Uber app ensures rides follow defined corporate policy and are automatically billed to the company.

"It's one-hundred percent catered to the enterprise," says Luis Madrigal, mobile information technology and device manager at Uber, speaking at the MobileIron conference.

Will security concerns derail mobile?

Most companies, though, continue to face new mobile security challenges. Security can derail their mobile plans -- "without it, we risk too much," say polled attendees. It's a big reason why MobileIron announced a slew of features to protect mobile enterprise data wherever it lives, such as the app, network and cloud.

In the network, for instance, MobileIron protects data with multi-OS app VPN. In the cloud, MobileIron gives companies control over content encryption keys.

Meanwhile, employees are concerned that companies secretly look at their private data on mobile devices. There's a lot of private data, too. A recent MobileIron survey of millennials found that 87 percent say their "mobile device never leaves their side, night or day." At MobileIron's conference, attendees cited the challenge of gaining employee buy-in through education and communication as having the greatest risk of failure.

That's why MobileIron announced a visual privacy tool that lets employees know exactly what data the company can see, what actions the company can take. The goal is to build trust between employer and employee.

Keeping security tools fresh

As companies continue to push the boundaries of mobility, with all sorts of enterprise data finding its way into myriad places, the security game is dramatically changing for CIOs. Today's mobile security tools might not work tomorrow. The security challenge is only going to get worse.

"Can't use the old stuff," says mobility analyst Maribel Lopez. "CIOs need new security, but it hasn't been defined yet. They'll have to buy again, and buy differently."

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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