Analysts to Discuss Mobile Security Threats and Trends at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summits 2014, June 2-3 in Berlin, Germany, and June 9-11 in Orlando
Nearly 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets will be sold to end users in 2014 according to Gartner, Inc. While security incidents originating from mobile devices are rare, Gartner said that by 2017, 75 percent of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfiguration.
"Mobile security breaches are — and will continue to be — the result of misconfiguration and misuse on an app level, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices," said Dionisio Zumerle, principal research analyst at Gartner. "A classic example of misconfiguration is the misuse of personal cloud services through apps residing on smartphones and tablets. When used to convey enterprise data, these apps lead to data leaks that the organization remains unaware of for the majority of devices."
With the number of smartphones and tablets on the increase, and a decrease in traditional PC sales, attacks on mobile devices are maturing. By 2017, Gartner predicts that the focus of endpoint breaches will shift to tablets and smartphones.
To do significant damage in the mobile world, malware needs to act on devices that have been altered at an administrative level.
"The most obvious platform compromises of this nature are 'jailbreaking' on iOS or 'rooting' on Android devices. They escalate the user's privileges on the device, effectively turning a user into an administrator," said Mr. Zumerle.
While these methods allow users to access certain device resources that are normally inaccessible (in fact, in most cases they are performed deliberately by users), they also put data in danger. This is because they remove app-specific protections and the safe 'sandbox' provided by the operating system. They can also allow malware to be downloaded to the device and open it up to all sorts of malicious actions, including extraction of enterprise data. 'Rooted' or 'jailbroken' mobile devices also become prone to brute force attacks on passcodes.
The best defense is to keep mobile devices fixed in a safe configuration by means of a mobile device management (MDM) policy, supplemented by app shielding and 'containers' that protect important data.
Gartner recommends that IT security leaders follow an MDM/enterprise mobility management baseline for Android and Apple devices as follows:
IT security leaders also need to use network access control methods to deny enterprise connections for devices that exhibit potentially suspicious activity.
"We also recommend that they favor mobile app reputation services and establish external malware control on content before it is delivered to the mobile device," said Mr. Zumerle.
Mr. Zumerle will further discuss the future of mobile security at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2014, June 2-3 in Berlin, Germany. More information about the Summit can be found at www.gartnerevent.com/eu/iominfo. Members of the press can register for the event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile security trends will also be discussed at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2014 taking place from June 9-11 in Orlando, Fla. More information on the Orlando event can be found at www.gartner.com/us/iom. Members of the press can register for the event by contacting email@example.com.
Additional information from the Summits will be shared on Twitter using #GartnerIOM.
About Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2014
As organizations move toward a digital business, IT is playing an increasingly proactive role in contributing to the process. Infrastructure and operations (I&0) is key to supporting and progressing business agility; equally demonstrating business value and cost-efficiency has never been more vital. At the Summit, analysts will assess how mobility, cloud and analytics can enhance business performance, and explore the new opportunities in data center innovation. They will also examine the value of IT operations excellence through I&O metrics, process framework adoption and organization structures.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world's leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.
Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We're trusted as an objective resource and critical partner by more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries—across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.
To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.