Mobile devices have come a long way in just the past few years. What began as a device for merely making mobile phone calls has morphed into a fully functional computer small enough to fit in one's pocket.
However, the capabilities of mobile devices aren't all that has changed recently. Mobile security threats are also advancing, according to a recent report from Global Industry Analysts.
In response to the many threats – data breaches, viruses, malware and data loss, among others – many mobile end users and companies are turning to mobile security solutions. According to GIA, this will cause the market for such data protection tools to reach $14.4 billion by 2017.
"[G]iven the extensive use of mobile Internet on these devices, smartphones, just like computers, are exposed to dangers of devious software/applications that are easily transported over the world wide web," the report said.
GIA isn't alone in identifying mobile security as a top threat. Last month, IT Pro said the issue is one of the top 10 challenges facing companies.
Despite these risks, mobile devices have become too important to business processes and the productivity of employees for companies to abandon them. Instead, the IT department and managers should be making sure that the proper data security measures are in place.
It's also important to train employees on the risks of mobility, so they are empowered to spot and ultimately avoid threats. That was the view of Dave Marcus, a data security expert who recently spoke with Government Computer News. He said effective security measures begin with the user, and that companies must deal with the short-term costs of employee training to avoid the long-term headaches associated with a data breach or loss.