Employee-owned smartphones and tablets used as part of bring your own device (BYOD) policies will increase to over one billion devices globally by 2018, according to a study by Juniper Research.
The report stated that this predicted figure, which accounts for 35% of all consumer mobile devices, is the result of increased mobile adoption and the realisation that mobile devices can help to improve work-life balance.
This trend has led to growth in the mobile device security market, with Western Europe leading the sector as the largest source of revenue for sales of mobile security software.
The increase in mobile security spending is a result of more malware targeting smartphones and mobile devices over the past two years. Almost two-thirds of internet users now access the web using a mobile device, and almost 70% of online threats can damage devices or compromise mobile users’ data.
There has been a huge increase in hackers targeting mobile devices as opposed to PCs or laptops, with supplier Trend Micro recently predicting there will be more than one million mobile device-directed malware exploits by the end of 2013. Despite the increase in mobile threats, Juniper’s research found that 80% of consumer and enterprise smartphones will remain unprotected throughout 2013.
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Due to an increase in awareness of mobile security, Juniper predicted that the number of mobile devices with appropriate security will increase to 1.3 billion by 2018, up from 325 million in 2013. Juniper also predicted that by 2018 more than 50% of mobile devices in the US will be equipped with mobile security apps.
Nitin Bhas, senior analyst for Juniper Research and one of the authors of the report, said: “The BYOD trend is something that CIOs and IT managers cannot ignore given the increasing number of employees bringing their own devices to the business, whether such activity is officially sanctioned or not.”