It starts now: 2017 mobile security predictions from Gartner

Gartner just published its “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security” report that includes findings and recommendations. I believe three of these to be significant for mobile security and for InfoSec and technology leaders heading into the new year. My take on these findings is below.

1. Mobile attacks and vulnerabilities are increasing

The first significant finding in the report is that, “Mobile attacks (Pegasus, XcodeGhost) and vulnerabilities (Stagefright, Heartbleed) are increasing in terms of both number and pragmatism. Enterprises are now looking for solutions that can enhance their mobile security posture.*”

The analysis that the Lookout Research and Response team published about Pegasus confirms that it is among the most sophisticated attacks ever seen. Mobile devices are the target because app data, and the presence of a microphone, camera, text history, call history, and more, make smartphones the device where your most sensitive data lives. Sophisticated exploits are becoming more prevalent, and malicious actors of all types have reason to target these enterprise devices.

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2. Now is the time to start your Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) initiative

For those of you currently in the midst of 2017 budget planning, the recommendation from Gartner is clear, “Start now to evaluate MTD tools, and gradually implement these solutions in complement to EMM.*”

Read the recent Gartner report, “When and How to Go Beyond EMM to Ensure Secure Enterprise Mobility” to learn more about how EMM and MTD tools work together to manage and secure corporate data on mobile devices. I think the complementary nature of these technologies is important because securing mobility is impossible without visibility into the specific threats and risks you’re facing.

In 2016 we saw a surge in MTD deployments by enterprises in the finance, healthcare, government, and energy sectors. In fact, Gartner predicts that, “By 2019, 25% of mobile-ready enterprises will deploy mobile threat defense capabilities on enterprise-issued mobile devices.*”

3. No EMM? Mobile Threat Defense protects employees and eliminates privacy concerns

Managing employee devices doesn’t make sense for every organization, but securing devices does. In “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security,” Gartner recommends that security and risk managers, “Propose installation of an MTD product in situations where BYO users are unwilling to allow EMM supervision on personal devices. MTD products emphasize individual protection rather than enterprise monitoring.*” Lookout firmly believes that employee privacy is as important as security, and Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security is trusted by many organizations that choose not to implement EMM.

Read the Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense Solutions to learn why Enterprise adoption of MTD solutions is expected to triple by 2018.

The value of predictions this time of year

Here’s another prediction: this won’t be the last set of 2017 predictions about mobile security that get published this year. Speculating on what will happen in the future is always interesting. But to me the real message of the Gartner “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security” report is that the future of mobile security is now.

Interested in learning about Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security? Contact us today.

*©Gartner, “Predicts 2017: Endpoint and Mobile Security,” John Girard, Dionisio Zumerle, Brian Reed, Peter Firstbrook, Bart Willemsen, November 2016. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.