A Canalys survey of 814 SMBs finds mobile phone security is lacking and poses a threat to businesses.
Midmarket companies are not doing enough to protect their mobile
phones, according to survey results by research firm Canalys. Based on
814 SMB (small and midsize business) respondents, the report indicated that 86 percent of SMBs have not yet adopted mobile phone
security throughout their organizations. The research signals an
"alarming gap" between the growing number of mobile phones, especially
smartphones, and their secure usage.
"With Canalys estimating that the U.S. smartphone market will
continue to grow by close to 30 percent over the next few years, mobile
phone security represents both a big business risk and a market
opportunity," said Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham. "The
increasing number of private devices entering the workplace adds to the
security problem, but smaller companies can't seem to keep pace with
the appropriate protective measures."
The research also indicated Research In Motion's strength in
the SMB space, as BlackBerry smartphones were the most widely used by
the organizations questioned-ahead of devices from Apple, Motorola
and Samsung. BlackBerry was also the most accepted platform among SMBs
surveyed, with Android following in second place.
"The growing acceptance of Android in the enterprise is a concern,"
said Canalys enterprise director Matthew Ball. "Android could pose the
biggest threat to mobile phone security, as it's arguably the highest
risk platform. The growing number of application downloads-across all
platforms-presents the biggest security threat, due to spyware,
viruses and other forms of malware."
Among SMBs without a mobile phone security solution, 66 percent
claimed it is an important issue, with this number increasing to 91
percent for those with mobile phone security already in place. SMBs
cited lack of awareness and cost as the greatest barriers to the
adoption of security measures.
Most of the SMBs surveyed with mobile phone security solutions
purchased them directly from a security software vendor. McAfee and
Symantec were the preferred suppliers, at 40 percent and 32 percent,
respectively. Likewise, there was a strong correlation between mobile
phone and PC security features, with SMBs noting antivirus as the most
important security feature to have. For those without mobile phone
security, most SMBs expected to buy solutions from their mobile phone
"With such a significant opportunity right now, there are a lot of
companies trying to capture the mobile phone security market," said
Ball. "To capitalize, though, vendors will have to develop different
approaches to address the key customer segments, including consumers,
SMBs and larger enterprises."