Compliance, security and oversight for the mobile enterprise

Why managing mobile devices is now an enterprise affair

Ten years ago this June, the first iPhone was released. In April 2010, the first Wi-Fi version of the iPad went on sale. We're coming up on the nine-year anniversary of the first-ever Android device in September. You get my drift. IT leaders responsible for managing mobile devices have had ages, in tech time, to figure out how to keep these miraculous productivity tools -- and the data they transmit -- out of harm's way. The research suggests they have fallen short.

A recent study from Dimensional Research found that 64% of enterprise security professionals doubt their organizations could prevent a breach of their employees' mobile devices. More alarming: 94% of those polled said they expect mobile attacks to increase, and 79% expect the difficulty of securing mobile devices to grow. The high anxiety is interesting, because a majority (56%) of those polled said their companies had not yet experienced a mobile breach.

The angst, of course, is understandable. As employees continue to use whatever devices and applications they deem necessary to get their jobs done, the complexity of managing mobile devices keeps growing. And they do like to do mobile their own way. A recent report from Forrester Research found that 68% of enterprise information workers choose their own smartphones for work; 69% said the same for their tablets. The study uncovered another sobering reality: Employees use mobile devices to access all kinds of sensitive information not intended for prying eyes.

In this month's SearchCIO handbook, we document the challenges of managing mobile devices, tap experts for best practices and drive home the point we hope you carry back to your companies. The shift to mobile business has happened. Safeguarding this new way of working must absolutely become an enterprise-wide effort -- from choosing the right technology solutions to choosing to make mobile security a shared responsibility.