Whenever a new industry emerges, it can be difficult to find the latest information and best practices as experts remain scant. Consider the cryptocurrency landscape before 2017, for example – while there was plenty of hidden resources here and there, it was very much different to the mainstream coverage today.

The same is true of mobile security in 2018. While plenty of organizations and individuals are contributing to the topic, it’s fair to say that information is not always available in certain areas, and a mainstream consensus on best practice is still a little way off.
That’s one of the reasons that events can be so valuable in the infancy of a new field such as mobile security. In May 2018, the first event of its kind took place in London, bringing together almost 200 people working in the sector to discuss the latest thinking and to share ideas.
Among the attendees was Luis Alvarez, the former CEO of BT Global Services. Citing it as a great opportunity to share information about the latest threats and to hear real examples of how mobile security is being approached inside major enterprises. He too suggested that exchanging these things was particularly valuable in a space where there can often be a paucity of education materials in a fast-moving marketplace.

The 3D CEO perspective

As well as a spot on stage alongside GSK CISO John Meakin, which spanned all kinds of topics from IoT to 5G, Luis Alvarez found the time to speak with some of the organizers at Level: Europe’s biggest mobile security event.

In a short interview, Luis shared a number of his thoughts on the booming world of mobility, providing a perspective on the industry that isn’t often heard – the point of view from the senior influencer at a major network operator.

Like many others, however, Luis was quick to remark on the transformative effect that mobile has had on the workplace.

When you look to what companies are doing in the mobile space, they are transforming from having mobile as a way to make phone calls into really using that as a productivity tool – as a way of accessing applications and data.Luis Alvarez, the former CEO of BT Global Services.

He went on the highlight the unique qualities that mobility offers to employees – that these smart devices provide a fantastic opportunity of being connected everywhere. It’s important to note too, that with each of these new opportunities and benefits, there are also all kinds of new challenges to overcome. At times, these can be obvious, for example the capex involved in purchasing devices for employees. What is often less obvious is the more difficult-to-anticipate costs, such as the rapid lifecycle of smartphones when compared to traditional IT, or unforseen data costs when it comes to roaming or overage fees.
There’s also the cost of security, which can often feel intangible but Luis insists is just as important.

I think what you see when you look to organizations and how they are trying to become protecting their employees, their assets and their customers, you will see that they’re very used to keeping themselves protected in the fixed world. However, when it comes to mobile, it’s getting less attention from executives and from IT leaders such as CIOs. I think mobility must grab more attention as it’s becoming more and more the primary tool used to access data and manage information and critical company assets. My recommendation is to really look and check if your business has a strong approach to mobile security. Luis Alvarez, the former CEO of BT Global Services.

Another trend that Luis makes note of is the rapidly growing volume of data available, not just in the enterprise but also at the network operator level too. This expansion in available data is fueling increased investment in infrastructure, and that these foundations are providing a framework for startups to innovate and provide new services. His view is that many of these innovations will come from smaller companies, rather than from inside the established giants.
One of these, of course, is mobile security.
Luis Alvarez has recently authored a book, which has been written to share his experiences and advice, designed to give a modern perspective on what it takes to be a successful leader at technology companies and beyond. Becoming a 3D CEO: The ultimate guide to unleashing your inner leader is available on Amazon now.
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