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Smartphones, tablets and BYOD are forcing enterprises to improve mobile security: study

by Doug Drinkwater

October 10 2012

Three in four enterprise workers are using two or more devices for work a day, says Forrester
Three in four enterprise workers are using two or more devices for work a day, says Forrester

A new report from Forrester Research reveals that the increasing number of employees using up to four screens a day is forcing enterprise to look seriously at mobile security.

The Forrsights Networks And Telecommunication Survey was conducted in Q1 but published today and took in the views from 576 ‘mobile decision makers’ in the U.S. and Europe, as well as almost 5,000 IT workers.

From the employee side of things, the report highlighted that 66% of workers are now using two or more devices for work each day, with this figure standing at a considerable 16% for those using up to four screens.

Approximately 12% of workers claim to use tablets like the iPad for work on a daily basis.

As a result of this, Forrester revealed that enterprises now list mobile and app security among their highest priorities, with 46% indicating that improving or implementing mobile security was a ‘high’ priority over the next 12 months. Another 22% deemed this move to be ‘critical’.

Enterprises ranked implementing some sort of mobile strategy as second in that list, with supporting smartphones (44% high priority, 11% critical) and tablets (42%, 10%) in third and fourth, respectively.

The study also tackled the trend of bring-your-own device (BYOD) and found that 70% of enterprise workers choose to bring in their own tablets without IT permission. 15% said that they used company issued tablets, while 13% chose from a list of company-approved slates.

However, despite this clear indication for a booming BYOD trend, BYOD is a little way down the list of highest priorities for enterprises, with just 6% indicating additional BYOD support to be 'critical'. That said, a considerable 32% said that this was a ‘high priority’.

Here’s a roundup of some other findings from the Forrester report:

  • 60% of enterprises think the increasing variety of smartphones, tablets and associated apps will force them to increase their central IT budget
  • Most firms are worried about device security (49%) and securing apps (48%) when it comes to developing apps and managing mobile devices.
  • In the next 12 months, the lowest priority for enterprises is deploying a corporate app store for mobile devices (15% high priority, 3% critical).

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