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Security concerns still hindering mobile growth for businesses

Mobile has the power to revolutionise business, but, as the latest study from Gemalto proves, most organisations are still too scared to use it properly

Just as we thought talk of the TalkTalk hacking was beginning to cool, a new study from researchers at Gemalto has highlighted once again just how security-wary today’s businesses are – especially when it comes to mobile.

In compiling its 2015 Global Authentication and Identity Access Management Index, the digital security firm spoke to 900 IT decision makers from across the world, and found that 94% are concerned that their businesses will fall victim to data breaches as a result of credential theft or compromise.

This goes some way to explaining the fact that 92% of IT departments still restrict users from accessing sensitive company data and resources from mobile devices, even though 98% of workforces have mobile and remote access requirements.

This reluctance to let staff work freely away from their desks might be minimising the risk of attack but it’s also holding companies back. Nearly all (95%) of the respondents said they face obstacles to increasing user mobility and most of these cited security as a primary example.

The good news is that most firms are already thinking of ways to allay their own fears and tighten defences, with two-factor authentication emerging as an obvious favourite. Of those asked, 86 per cent said they plan to use it for access to cloud applications, and 92% are already relying on it for at least one application, inclusive of in-house use.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of those with intentions to implement two-factor authentication will look to do so with the help of the cloud; 91 per cent said they’ll use cloud-based authentication-as-a-service to manage their newfound security measures centrally. The cloud’s flexibility and cost benefits go some way to explaining why nine in ten IT bosses see it as a key consideration when investing in an authentication solution.

Beyond this, having a central authentication system in place makes it possible to implement effective measures in a quick, easy and standardised way across vast collections of devices – useful when you consider the average worker is expected to carry two by 2020.

However they choose to go about it, then, it’s clear that businesses need to embrace this inevitable shift – it’s not something they’re able to control, nor is it a great idea to try. François Lasnier, Gemalto’s Senior Vice President for Identity Protection, said: "Organizations that are not open to this change are very likely to be inhibiting business productivity.”

He went on to talk up the benefits of opting for a cloud solution: “Users are likely to do what it takes to get the job done, with or without permission, so when corporate resources are scattered across different sites, the need for strong authentication and as-a-service delivery will serve vital functions in making this happen securely. In doing so, organizations will be better placed to protect the identities of their users, without sacrificing on productivity or data protection."

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