Low Levels of Smartphone Security in SMBs

A report has found that 86 per cent of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have no company-wide smartphone security in place, despite most recognising it as a major problem.

The study showed very low levels of smartphone security adoption, but high awareness that mobile security is an important issue.

Recent industry data shows a sharp rise in mobile attacks, particularly on the Android platform, and companies in the US and Europe with high levels of smartphone deployment are vulnerable.

"Smartphones are now financially viable targets, so people are writing code to exploit that," Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, told technology news webiste, V3.co.uk.

"The recent attacks on Android have put the ball in the end-user's court. But people normally don't read what services an application wants access to. They want the application and hit install."

This is alarming considering the increasing use of Android in the enterprise. The operating system was unknown two years ago, but is fast becoming a major player in the enterprise smartphone space.

The study found smartphone adoption growing at 30 per cent a year in the sector, with RIM the most popular operating system ahead of Android. RIM handsets were also the most popular, ahead of Apple, Motorola and Samsung.

When it comes to buying mobile security software, most SMBs stick with the big name brands of Symantec and McAfee, at 40 and 32 per cent of respondents respectively.

However, Cunningham explained that there are a lot of smaller third-party vendors in the sector like Lookout and SMobile, which was bought by Juniper Networks last year for $70m.

"With such a significant opportunity right now, there are a lot of companies trying to capture the mobile phone security market," said Canalys enterprise director Matthew Ball.

"To capitalise, though, vendors will have to develop different approaches to address the key customer segments, including consumers, SMBs and larger enterprises."

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