Why Selling Mobile Security Is A Non-Negotiable

By Jay McCall

According to an independent study conducted by Trend Micro,  if Android app store providers don’t act soon, we could see more than 100,000 malicious Android apps showing up in the Android app store in the near future.  This, combined with the fact that more and more companies are allowing employees to bring their own devices to work for the purpose of accessing corporate networks is creating a potential serious security threat to many of your customers.

A January 2013 study conducted by Harris Interactive sheds further light on the state of mobile security. According to the results, which included input from 200 U.S., 100 Canadian, 100 German, and 100 U.K. IT decision makers, at least 20% of employees worked remotely in 2012 and that number is expected to reach 25% in 2013. On average, IT decision makers have a confidence level of 73% that data accessed by employees in the office is protected from data loss or theft. That number drops to 55% for employees working out of their homes and down to just 47% for workers on the road.

Here's one other surprising revelation from the study: Only 59% of companies surveyed have a mobile device policy that they enforce by requiring employees to only use approved devices to access the company's network. So, let's do a quick recap before coming to a conclusion: 1. There's an undeniable trend whereby your customers' employees are bringing their mobile devices to work and being given access to the corporate network with those devices. 2. Many of your customers either don't have mobile device policies in place, or they're not enforcing their policies, which is making the threat of a network security breach all the more imminent.

Conclusion: If you're providing your customer with any kind of network security solution or service, whether it be simple antivirus or more sophisticated unified threat management, you can rest assured that if your customer succumbs to a data breach through its employees' mobile devices, you'll be sharing some portion of the blame. It's much better to address this area of your customer's business now, rather than waiting for the day your customer suffers a big loss.

There are a growing number of MDM (mobile device management) solutions on the market today that provide far superior functionality than the consumer level programs that come bundled with many Android and iOS devices. When talking to your customer about this topic, you can anticipate they'll insist on this protection as a free add-on to what they're already paying you for, but remember, they chose to allow consumer mobile devices on their networks, and it only makes sense that taking extra measures to protect their network is a worthwhile cause that's worth more than "free."

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