Mobile users in business are worried about security. This much we know. A recent survey found that data loss was a greater concern to IT than malware (75% versus 47%).
Mobile Business Entry
One large mobile security player is looking to capitalize on these concerns.
Lookout, the mobile device security company known for its mobile security apps for iOS and Android devices, announced this week it is expanding into the business market and plans to offer mobile security there in the coming months with Lookout for Business.
At the same time, Lookout also announced it is partnering with Samsung in a program to join Lookout’s security to mobile devices with Samsung KNOX, Samsung’s secure device offering for business.
“Wherever KNOX will be, Lookout will be there, too,” Lookout CEO John Hering blogged.
The way that employees work on and use their devices has changed dramatically over the past few years,” Hering added. “The mechanisms by which businesses were protected in the past don’t work in a world where employees use a personal device in business and/or a business device in a personal context. Lookout’s expansion into business comes at a critical time and the security stakes are now higher.”
Lookout’s announcement comes at a time when business are simply having to adapt to the mobile world -- and the BYOD era.
According to Gartner, the growing number of companies developing BYOD policies will create as big a shift in enterprise computing as PCs did when they first entered the workplace. Companies are allowing employees, business partners and others to use personally selected and purchased client devices, and to access enterprise applications using those devices. It’s crucial today for employees who, for instance, want to use SharePoint on their mobile devices.
Gartner also reports one in three companies now allow employees to bring their own devices to work. Even if it’s not allowed, employees are accessing information outside of the corporate network, according to Lookout.
Controlling Mobile Business Environment
How are companies trying to keep things secure in the mobile world? Some businesses try to control and restrain user activity. However, we reported that this might result in a costly tactical implementation that does not match up with the actual security risk.
Further, companies want to curtail employee efforts with restrictive controls on bringing their mobile devices to work. Employees may see this as counter-productive, and it may not reflect well on IT. Do you want to be seen as counter-productive? Nonetheless, some enterprises implement and enforce app blacklists on BYOD devices because they don’t want them using them for personal reasons (i.e. Netflix, Angry Birds).
As for Lookout, the goal with its business expansion is to “keep devices, networks and infrastructure safe from mobile threats and protect corporate devices, plus the sensitive data they carry.”