Mobile computing risks keeping IT admins’ hands full

Managing mobile computing and putting a lid on mobility risks are keeping IT admins’ hands full, according to a recent survey released by security software company Symantec Canada.

In a survey that included 875 IT professionals in charge of IT resources (most of them from small and medium sized businesses), Symantec found that mobility risks account for an average annual cost of $202,000.

The top five cost areas cited were:

  • Lost of productivity (31 per cent)
  • Direct financial cost (28 per cent)
  • Loss of data (19 per cent)
  • Loss of revenue (16 per cent)
  • Loss of customer trust (13 per cent)

Businesses are falling behind in gaining control over mobile devices, the survey found.

When ask to indicate where their organizations were in terms of implementing safety practices or solutions, respondents said:

  • Antivirus protection (93 per cent)
  • Corporate policies (91 per cent)
  • Antispam (91 per cent)
  • Device password (91 per cent)
  • Firewall protection (90 per cent)
  • Data loss protection software (89 per cent)

The least implemented practices were:

  • Event logging (89 per cent)
  • Ability to centrally disable features on mobile devices (86 per cent)
  • User training (88 per cent)

Symantec said mobile devices are now considered by business to be “critical business tools.”

For instance, the survey indicated that 60 per cent of the businesses were discussing custom business applications. About 56 per cent of the organizations were running line-of-business apps, and 58 per cent of respondents were discussing a corporate “app store”.

The respondents’ top three computing initiatives were:

  • Mobile computing (42 per cent)
  • Public cloud computing (40 per cent)
  • Infrastructure (33 per cent)

“It’s all about efficiency, workforce effectiveness and reduction of time to accomplish tasks,” the report stated.

Half of the respondents say mobile computing is “somewhat” to “extremely” challenging. IT priorities around mobility were: security, reducing cost of complexity and data backup.

More than 40 per cent of IT personnel are involved in managing mobile computing. Although they are always busy installing safeguards, respondents acknowledge that benefits of mobile computing outweigh its risks.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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