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Mobile devices are now playing a more important security role

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Chinnapong)

Defending the corporate network is no longer the number one priority for Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), a new report from automation platform Ivanti argues. Instead, CISOs are more focused on protecting their employees’ mobile devices (opens in new tab).

Polling 400 CISOs in EMEA for the report, Ivanti found that almost all (87 percent) see mobile devices as the focal point of their cybersecurity strategy, mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic speeding up the emergence of the “everywhere enterprise”.

The emphasis on mobile devices also means entirely different cybersecurity challenges. Passwords are no longer an effective means of protecting enterprise data, Ivanti claims. Instead, CISOs are focused on making sure only trusted users, devices, networks and apps can access company data.

For most CISOs (45 percent), the use of unsecured Wi-Fi networks to access business resources is the number one IT challenge, followed by BYOD. For a third of the respondents, employees using unauthorized apps to access corporate data was their main security challenge.

Even though almost all respondents said they have “effective solutions” set up to enabled secure remote working, 92 percent also said they needed extra IT security measures to secure the remote workforce. Two thirds (64 percent), meanwhile, are looking to invest in mobile threat detection software (opens in new tab) this year.

“Every CISO should urgently adopt a zero trust security strategy to ensure only trusted users can access corporate data and invest in automation technologies that can discover, manage, secure and service all endpoints, devices, and data in the everywhere enterprise,” said Nigel Seddon, VP of EMEA West at Ivanti.

“They must assume their corporate networks have already been compromised and leverage technologies that can proactively detect threats, and self-heal and self-secure devices. To further reduce the attack surface, CISOs should eliminate passwords in favor of passwordless authentication. In doing so, they will also ensure that remote workers enjoy a seamless and secure user experience.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.