A recent survey conducted by technology publication TechTarget revealed that smartphone and tablet users are finally starting to pay attention to mobile security, and they are taking steps to ensure their devices are protected.
In a poll of more than 360 IT professionals, data security was ranked as the mobile trend expected to see the third largest increase in investment this year, behind smartphones and tablets.
This development couldn't come soon enough, as smartphone and tablet sales are both expected to explode in the coming years. According to a recent report from research firm IDC, the smartphone market is predicted to grow 55 percent year-over-year in 2011, with vendors shipping 472 million handsets worldwide.
Google's Android is expected to represent the highest market share, accounting for 38.9 percent of the market, IDC predicted. Thus, mobile security is an especially pressing issue. Given the open source licensing of Google, the smartphone operating system is naturally more vulnerable to malware and other attacks than most other platforms.
According to TechTarget's report, attacks specifically targeting mobile devices are the seventh highest ranked security concern related to mobility, following lost devices, consumer device access and others. However, malware should not be underestimated, as more malicious coding designed specifically for mobile devices has increased in recent years.
Of the mobile data security practices IT professionals use, remote lock and wipe is the most common, the study found, cited by 45 percent of respondents. Data encryption and mobile software updates have also being deployed by 35 percent and 23 percent of respondents, respectively.
However, the study also found that 20 percent of respondents use no mobile data management techniques at all, potentially exposing them to data loss and cyber attacks.