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BYOD Could Help Spur Mobile Security Growth: Gartner

Predicts that 30% of consumer product selection criteria will be based on requirements to secure new mobile computing platforms

A new report suggests that most users neglect to protect their mobile devices with security software.

The use of personal mobile devices for work purposes means security providers have an opportunity to assist enterprise bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, as a report from IT research firm Gartner suggested consumer adoption and willingness to pay for antivirus software on mobile devices is low, according to an article on eWEEK.com.

The report predicts that 30 percent of consumer product selection criteria will be based on requirements to secure new mobile computing platforms by 2015.

While the average IT-savvy consumer has five or more devices at home that connect to the Internet, consumers are far more likely to have an antivirus program installed on their laptops and desktops while tablets, mobile phones and gaming systems that connect to the Internet are often left unprotected.

"The use of personal devices at work matches high-enterprise demand for solutions to the BYOD security problem," Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "This presents providers of both consumer and enterprise endpoint security products with an opportunity to enforce security to private devices and potentially expand their footprint into the consumer space. Consequently, product managers at consumer security providers need to adopt strategies that allow consumer security use on personal devices in the enterprise workplace."

Mobile Malware Needs Different Security Approach, Say Researchers
The Black Hat 2013 security conference took an in-depth look at pervasive mobile threats targeting smartphones and tablets and what, exactly, companies are doing to combat these latest threats.

Mobile security vendors are innovating to address mobile threats in ways that are almost completely different from security software found on most desktops and laptop systems, according to an article on CRN.com.

Throughout the two-day Black Hat briefings, security researchers shared ways to hack into Android devices, take over an iOS device in less than 60 seconds, or sniff and decrypt cellular traffic by hacking into microcell devices. Security researchers say the message is becoming increasingly clear: The ecosystem for mobile threats is very likely to be vastly different than that on desktops and mobile devices, necessitating a different defensive approach.

Gaining root access to the device is no longer necessarily needed, said Jeff Forristal, chief technology officer of Bluebox, a San Francisco-based mobile security startup that gained attention this month for discovering a serious certificate validation weakness in Android devices.

System-level control is a way to gain access to the majority of the device, Forristal said. If successfully exploited, the master key vulnerability discovered by Bluebox enables an attacker to trick Google's validation process to turn legitimate apps into weaponized apps that could do serious damage.

Antivirus software, which monitors file activity to detect malware strains, is far too intensive for tiny mobile devices, said Guy Stewart, vice president of engineering at FatSkunk, an early stage startup that has created a different way to protect mobile devices. While the computing power in most smartphones is growing exponentially every year, the battery on most mobile phones drains quickly, Stewart said.

Enterprises Slowed by Aging Data Center Infrastructure
A recent survey has found that data centers, often relying on technology more than 20 years old, are unable to keep up with the new guard of cloud computing, virtualization and mobility.

Even though most organizations continue to update their data center environments, many of those infrastructures are running on outdated resources, making them incapable of keeping up with the demands for a more virtualized, mobile and cloud-based world, according to a survey by Brocade.

At the same time, a growing number of organizations are deploying fabric-based networks - which offer greater flexibility, scalability and automation - and are looking to begin rolling out software-defined network (SDN) technology by 2015, said the survey, according to an article on eWEEK.com.

The picture painted by the survey is one of data center administrators who are trying to keep their aging infrastructures running while they look to bring in newer technologies they know will help them keep up with the rapidly changing demands on their networks.

"Many data centers that exist today are based on 20-year-old technologies, and the simple fact is that they can no longer keep up with demand," Jason Nolet, vice president of data center switching and routing at Brocade, said in a statement. "Virtualization and cloud models require greater network agility and performance, as well as reduced operational cost and complexity."

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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