How Are Enterprises Answering Cybersecurity Threats? With Evolved EMM and Their Wallets


Security_MDM_EMMA steady flow of anecdotes suggests that enterprises of all types and sizes are growing increasingly aware of cybersecurity threats and the need to bolster their digital defenses. Several high-profile retailers, for example, have recently revealed plans to hire CISOs and other security experts to deflect business-crippling and reputation-ruining cyber attacks.

Reports of cybersecurity talent shortages also hint that organizations are building their mobile security forces.

Though convincing and mounting, the evidence has been mostly circumstantial to this point.

Exhibit A

But that situation appears to be changing.

VDC Research unveiled findings from a survey in early August, gauging the satisfaction of enterprises with their current mobile security measures. Nearly 50% of IT specialists polled said they were less than completely satisfied with the level of security provided by their current mobile device management (MDM) solution, according to VDC.

The crisis of confidence in existing security solutions is amplified, suggest the report’s authors, by the evolutionary advancement of workforce mobilization. As enterprises look to mobilize more employees and increase access to business-critical content, CIOs recognize the need to move away from a device-centric mobility management strategy, says the report.

“But enterprises are now actively engaged in providing their employees and customers access to applications and data behind their firewalls; this has predictably shifted the focus from managing devices to managing and securing applications.”

The expanding mobile management requirements of enterprises, says VDC, is consistent with the rise of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), which augments basic MDM with advanced security capabilities and app and content management functions.

MDM Evolves into EMM

VDC Research is not alone in identifying an evolution in enterprise mobility. A new phase of maturity is being driven by several overlapping transitions within the enterprise – in addition to the device-to-app management migration. As enterprise IT departments get a handle on the influx of mobile devices, they are moving from a tactical to a more strategic approach to enterprise mobility, say experts. Similarly, mobility’s emergence as a catalyst for productivity advances is migrating decision-making responsibilities from IT to line-of-business leaders, says independent analyst Jack Gold.

The growth of enterprise-grade wearable devices and the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) will also influence what future EMM solutions provide. As the number and types of devices and applications used by the typical enterprise worker increases, experts are also predicting that EMM solutions will need to become repositories for managing identity and authorization, according to this July article on the evolution of EMM.

Identity Management for Post-BYOD World

“To develop improved mobility, it is imperative to focus on improving identity and access management…. This includes tracking of user information such as location, behavioral patterns, etc., and using it to authenticate the identity of the user and also reduce the risk of unauthenticated use of mobility.”

Standalone MDM solutions were deployed primarily to provide rudimentary management of BYOD environments. Fortifying MDM with the content, app and identity management capabilities that organizations now recognize as vital to their future digital security will not be easy – especially without a substantial sacrifice in productivity and user experience. MDM providers that lack deep resources and a long-standing pedigree in security will be particularly challenged, suggests VDC Research.

Case Closed

Finally, the most objective evidence that enterprises are upping their cybersecurity efforts en masse comes from Gartner, Inc. The market research firm predicts that enterprises worldwide will shell out more than $71 billion on information security spending in 2014, according to this CIO article. That’s an increase of nearly 8% from 2013.

My question to you is: as other organizations bolster their mobile security defenses, what is yours doing?


About Joe McGarvey

An Enterprise Mobility Strategist at BlackBerry, McGarvey has covered the enterprise and telecommunications industries for more than 20 years as both a journalist and analyst. He is best-known as a long-time principal analyst at leading market research firm Current Analysis. McGarvey has also been an analyst for Heavy Reading and an editor at several leading technology magazines.

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