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IT pros think mobile device management tools needed in the Enterprise

February 21st, 2012

Boston Research GroupBoston Research Group, a leading provider of research services, found that 78 percent of IT security professionals believe that network access control (NAC) is an essential function to protect enterprises from mobile device risks and that enterprises want unified policy controls to manage security risks for both mobile devices and PCs.

The research, which focused on mobile device management and mobile security, was completed in January 2012 and sponsored by ForeScout Technologies Inc., a leading provider of automated security control solutions for Fortune 1000 enterprises and government organizations.

The mobile security study surveyed 365 North American IT security professionals in companies having 1,000 employees or more. The findings present greater insight into how IT security professionals are influencing mobile device management (MDM) purchases and their perceptions of mobile security risks.

Of those surveyed:

  • 88% would either be the “purchaser” or the “purchase recommender” for an MDM tool. This suggests that the same people who make network and information security decisions will also be making MDM decisions.
  • 68% are concerned about mobile security risks associated with mobile devices accessing corporate resources. The majority of concerns center on: data loss (26%), malware (23%), unauthorized users and devices (14%), and intrusions (13%).
  • 78% believe that network access control is an essential feature for mobile security. While inventory management, software management and security management were deemed as important and essential, the means to enforce security policies based on identity, device, configuration, security posture and network activity are also considered crucial features for mobile security, capabilities available from NAC tools that are incomplete in MDM tools.
  • 96% want unified security policy management for both mobile devices and PCs, reinforcing the need for a layered approach for managed and unmanaged handhelds and PCs in the enterprise.

“IT professionals see many of the same security risks in mobile devices such as smartphones that have long been a concern for laptops and notebook computers. Device mobility, wireless access, personal applications and the high risk of lost or stolen handhelds creates a need for added defenses against data loss, unauthorized access and malware,” said Paul McClanahan, research analyst and partner at the Boston Research Group.

“The study also showed that IT security teams are well involved in MDM purchase and implementation decisions.”

Security teams want the same endpoint intelligence, security assessment and enforcement options for mobile devices as they have for PCs, and they want it all managed from one operating console. ForeScout today introduced ForeScout Mobile to meet these requirements by delivering the industry’s first unified approach for NAC, BYOD and MDM. .

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