Strong enterprise demand for data security is driving rapid growth in mobile device management services. According to a study by ABI Research, the number of smartphones protected by advanced security software will increase fivefold over the next five years.
Enterprises with mobile workforces have growing concerns about lost and stolen handsets, due to the increasing amount of data stored on a typical smartphone. In addition, organizations that deal with financial data, healthcare information, or personal identification such as social security numbers have to comply with several regulatory requirements (such as HIPAA, GISRA, and SEC) for protecting data, wherever it is stored.
Future handsets will come with pre-loaded anti-virus software clients to prevent the loss of data and services to malware. In many cases, mobile banking and person-to-person payments will be authenticated by fingerprint sensors on the handset.
“Although malware has been seen in mobile handsets, in the past it has not done much damage,” says ABI Research VP Stan Schatt. “But smartphones have access to more sensitive data every year, and security must be tightened to prevent the theft or loss of important business information.”
The solution: security client software loaded on a mobile terminal, and a service to remotely lock a handset, erase its data, or locate it. Large enterprises will buy mobile device management platforms to use within their IT departments, and smaller enterprises or even consumers will use managed security services, as wireless carriers increasingly offer security services to their customers.