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Attitudes About PC And Mobile Device Security Converging, Study Says

Report by Forrester indicates that smartphone administrators want encryption, malware protection

The thought process surrounding PC and laptop security is quickly being integrated with strategies for protecting mobile and portable devices, according to a study published earlier this week.

"Managing and Securing Corporate and Personal Mobile Devices in Financial Services," a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiberlink Communications Corp., collects feedback from financial services IT leaders on the top security priorities for personal mobile devices.

More than half of financial services enterprises already support personally owned mobile devices, according to the study.

More than one-third of the IT professionals indicated that their enterprise supports multiple mobile operating systems (OSs), with 10 percent supporting four or more. In an effort to avoid getting spread too thin, IT often provides minimal support for these OSs, introducing vulnerabilities and threats, the report says.

"As mobile operations increasingly converge, IT and telecom managers are realizing that they need to treat mobile devices the same as PCs," Forrester says.

"Based on this commissioned study from Forrester, it's clear to see that mobile device management and PC management are converging," said Jim Szafranski, senior vice president, customer platform services of Fiberlink. "Over 80 percent of firms are concerned about malware, hackers, and identity theft -- all issues previously associated with computers, not mobile devices. The research shows is that IT is now wisely beginning to manage smart phones in the same manner as PCs."

Eighty-six percent of respondents have already deployed a strong password policy for smartphones, the study says. Other popularly deployed strategies include full disk encryption (71 percent), remote lock/wipe (64 percent), and asset and activity visibility and management (66 percent) across all types of mobile devices.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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