In my most recent guest blog post, I talked about the key trends that we see impacting customers today: mobility, virtualization and cloud computing. Information is literally exploding, and customers of all sizes are challenged with the task of storing, managing and protecting it – which presents the partner community with a great opportunity to help customers overcome those challenges and capitalize on opportunities. This time around, I'd like to look more closely at the opportunities around mobility. With more business being conducted on smartphones and employees using those same devices to access their personal information, your customers are faced with security and management challenges that they've never before seen.
The intermingling of business and personal information and devices -- often referred to as "the consumerization of IT" -- is important for you to fully understand as you provide solutions and services to your customers. How prevalent is this trend? Are companies educating their employees on security best practices and company policies?
We recently asked customers about their experiences with this topic, and this is what we found:
- Smartphones rank high on end user’s must-have technology lists, and employees are using their smartphones to access sensitive information. The consumerization of IT has already become a reality for most organizations.
- End users don’t fully comprehend the extent of the security challenges created by their mobile devices, or the potentially sensitive nature of the information stored on those devices.
- Most organizations are struggling to effectively communicate mobile device policies and/or best practices. Those that are educating their employees are focusing on policies that deal with the loss or theft of devices, but not focusing on policies regarding malicious apps.
Consumerization of ITThe consumerization of IT is one of the biggest factors driving interest in mobile security. This presents VARs with a significant opportunity to help customers secure their information and their employees’ devices against malware threats. The threat landscape continues to expand, creating a greater need for reputation-based security technology solutions to help customers stay ahead of attackers. Mobile devices that store confidential business information and are lost or stolen present another big challenge, not to mention the management of these devices and determining how much access they may have to the company infrastructure.
The movement of consumer mobile devices into your customers’ business infrastructures is driving IT security models to market. Cybercriminals are targeting mobile devices more and more, potentially leading to the loss of confidential business information. Mobility is something your customers are thinking about as they notice more mobile devices creeping into their businesses, and they will need your expertise and guidance to choose the right security policies and technology solutions that will keep their information safe.
As I said in my previous post, whether it’s within the four walls of their offices or on a mobile device, the key is to focus on protecting the information. With an information-centric approach, you'll be able to extend your current capabilities to take advantage of new trends and help customers safely navigate through this new mobile business world.
Randy Cochran is VP of channel sales for the Americas at Symantec. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program. Read all of Cochran's guest blogs here.