This week we published our latest Enterprise Mobile Data Report, detailing mobile usage for April, May, and June 2014. For those that are not familiar with our quarterly Mobile Data Reports, we have a unique insight into how employees engage on their mobile devices. Our software can analyze, on aggregate, how mobile data is allocated by site and application across our global, cloud based platform. This quarter the sample consisted of 10,000 corporate devices, 70% iOS and 30% Android. This data enables us to keep an eye on mobile data trends from a uniquely enterprise perspective.
We’ve seen unencrypted traffic from apps is increasing month on month. Over Q2 there has been a 1% increase in unencrypted data for each of the last three months. Now just under half (49%) of all app traffic is unencrypted and vulnerable to snooping and injection, a significant risk to businesses.
I’m sure this stat resonates with anyone in IT security, as frequently the biggest threat to corporate security isn’t an exterior threat finding a loophole in the corporate network, but rather an employee inadvertently opening the door for a malicious attack. Unsuspecting users are generally comfortable accepting permission requests from apps to share information like their address book and social media credentials. A recent study concluded 72% of users share sensitive information like password or credit card details in their apps.
Desktop or network based security is ubiquitous across the enterprise. However, do the solutions available in the market today for securing corporate mobile data go far enough or deep enough?
Although the gap in mobile and network security is glaring, what about cost, speed, and visibility relative to traditional, desktop based data? IT departments have standardized investing in all of the above-mentioned categories for network data (WAN optimization, content filtering, security), yet why not in mobile data?
Mobile data still seems to be the elephant in the room. This seems odd for a number of reasons:
a.) Mobile data is exponentially more expensive than Wi-Fi/network based data
b.) Cisco predicts an 11x growth in five years
c.) Most carriers in the developed world have transitioned to mobile data as the dominant revenue source
d.) Text is moving to SMS, video is the fastest growing segment of mobile and voice is moving to VoIP
A few final statistics to consider from mobile analyst, Benedict Evens, “There are around 1.6-1.7bn* PCs in use today, and there are already perhaps 2bn iOS and Android devices**. Over the next few years the great majority of the mobile base will convert to these devices: there will be 3-4bn smartphones in use*** and hundreds of millions more tablets.”
So, there will be two to three times more personal computing devices connected to the internet. But actually, that understates the change massively. The difference in how those smartphones are used is actually just as important as the raw numbers.