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Symantec Intelligence

Mitigating Mobile Risk: The Security and Cloud Crossroad

Created: 29 Sep 2011
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It’s no secret that the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace has added to the ongoing struggle between employees who want to use their mobile devices to access corporate data and the IT departments working to secure and control all of their business endpoints.

Employees demand access to corporate networks and data wherever they are with whichever device they’re using. At the same time, companies trying to keep up with that demand are under increasing pressure to comply with regulatory requirements, which in turn creates a challenge for IT departments to find ways to secure and manage mobile workers without interfering with how they get their jobs done.

To get a closer look at this challenge, Symantec partnered with IDG Research Services to sponsor a survey of IT security professionals at 115 organizations exploring the security and compliance risks associated with a growing mobile workforce.

There is no shortage of IT pros that believe risk comes with the territory—94 percent of respondents believe there is at least a moderate amount of risk inherent in supporting a mobile workforce, including unauthorized data sharing, data loss, and the introduction of malware to the corporate LAN. While most IT pros know that mobility brings more risks, the majority don’t do a good job addressing these risks.  In fact, 59 percent of respondents report that they are just somewhat or not at all effective at minimizing mobile security and compliance risks.

The results show a need for solutions to protect mobile assets, particularly notebooks, which are still the most prevalent mobile computing devices and often contain sensitive or confidential information. Interestingly, the study also found that most corporations haven’t updated their acceptable-use or compliance policies for assets used outside of the office. 

The Balance

Even as most IT folks agree mobility brings risks, the question is what are they doing about it? Only 44 percent of respondents have a solution in place to ensure mobile employees do not violate acceptable use policies, and the majority of them are using on-premise solutions. Budget and resource constraints are top of mind for respondents when identifying challenges to deploying or investing in acceptable-use or compliance enforcement solutions for mobile workers.

Cloud-based services are emerging as effective alternatives that help enterprises strike a balance between flexibility and protection without requiring significant up-front investments or creating drains on IT resources. These solutions provide data security for mobile users in a way that has the least impact on corporate networks, can be quickly and easily implemented and can scale as the mobile workforce grows.

To see the full survey and to see how Symantec is solving these problems, visit www.csoonline.com/whitepapers/symantecmobile to get a free download of the full white paper “Mitigating Risk in a Mobile World” and the complete research results.

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