Although useful, mobile devices come with many security concerns
Mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, may offer employees greater flexibility and productivity, but they also are a serious security risk.
CRN recently reported that many executives believe popular iPad and Android-operated tablets are considered a risk for their lack of online security capabilities.
"Clearly, there's a need in the enterprise for a tablet that has enterprise grade security that the iPad and Android products don’t have," Personal Systems Group executive vice president Todd Bradley told the news source in an interview. "I think security is actually the biggest challenge in the marketplace today. WebOS brought a degree of enterprise grade security, and Microsoft will bring that same set of capabilities."
Earlier in the month, HP CEO Meg Whitman told CRN that the sentiment industry-wide is that employees can bring their own devices into the office. While she understands this notion, Whitman also said a security breach could significantly impact how staff members use these products.
Another scary trend taking place is just how popular mobile devices have become. CRN reported that Apple sold more than 15 million iPads last quarter alone. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, also noted that many Fortune 500 companies are using the products on a day-to-day basis.
Some have made the case that mobile devices such as tablets are not as secure as traditional laptops and desktops. BusinessWeek's Pete Daffern and Julie McNelley recently participated in a debate supporting both sides of the spectrum.
Daffern took the side that mobile products are actually more secure than PCs.
"Geolocation helps curtail fraud: Smart mobile companies are leveraging the GPS capabilities of smartphones to stop fraud before it happens," he wrote. "If a physical credit card is used hundreds of miles from a phone’s location, for example, chances are that one or the other has been stolen."
McNelley noted that smartphones remain relatively new, and many people lack any type of anti-malware software and download applications that can be malicious in nature. She also cited an Aite Group study of global CIOs that indicated more than 90 percent of participants said their organizations plan to increase their security defenses in the next two years to address this fear.