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Gartner Symposium 2014: Mobility and security - bridging the great divide

Enterprise firms are facing a security headache as they attempt to increase their mobility without risking data loss.

Research from Gartner also indicates that the issue is only going to get more problematic over the next few years with the predicted explosion in Internet-connected devices.

Read more: Internet of Things: 70% of devices have critical security vulnerabilities that need addressing

Security analyst Dionisio Zumerle believes that part of the problem emerges when management staff focus on devices when an application-centric approach would be more effective. Apps often have the potential to access sensitive data contained on a mobile device, meaning information is only as secure as the software being used to store or transfer it.

Of course, applications also provide a huge number of benefits to employees, meaning CIOs have to balance the utility of mobile devices against the security risks they pose.

The rise of cloud platforms and the growth of BYOD or bring your own device policies mean that organisations struggle to secure their data as they do not own the platforms used to store it.

Containers and mobile application management (MAM) can help protect sensitive information, but they can also affect the phone’s utility and often compromise the native experience.

The number of connected devices is set to rise by 30 per cent next year as the Internet of Things gathers pace, making security an even bigger challenge.

Mobility will continue to increase, even if it has to be via unsanctioned shadow IT solutions, so it is up to businesses to safeguard their data the best they can at a time when information is becoming more and more fluid.

Read more: Four in ten UK firms have suffered a mobile security breach in the past year

Gartner has a large portfolio of research on mobility and security, including its Spectrum of Trust document, but ultimately businesses must carry out extensive self-assessment to identify the security service that suits them best without restricting their employees.