Mobile Security: Four Key Opportunities for the ChannelBy Ericka Chickowski | Print
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Smartphones are everywhere, and they are carrying vital corporate data, whether they are secured or not. With the exposure of 150,000 iPad owners' personal data recently, along with new reports that highlight Android security problems, opportunities abound for channel partners that can create a mobile-security practice for business customers.
With the number of mobile devices deployed shooting up, recent news about Android security vulnerabilities and the exposure of more than 100,000 iPad users' personal data raising user awareness about mobile security, opportunities for channel partners to sell mobile protection into customer environments have certainly ripened. That's if these partners and their vendors can target the mobile risks that matter, security experts believe.
The truth is that security vendors have long been proclaiming that mobile malware would soon overwhelm enterprises once mobile devices established critical mass. But, much like end-times prophets who must periodically "update" their projections for the end of the world, these security prognosticators have pushed back the date of the mobile-security apocalypse.
"A few years ago, F-Secure and Sophos were banging the drum; then, it was Symantec, then McAfee, and now Kaspersky" wrote Andrew Jaquith of Forrester Research in a blog post earlier this year. "Not one of these vendors’ predictions have come remotely true, and none of the vendors are making any money (or even selling much product) in this space." Jaquith says that the sheer variety of mobile platforms makes the rapid proliferation of widespread malware much less likely than it was on the PC running the ubiquitous Microsoft platforms.
However, this doesn't mean that the opportunities for channel partners to sell mobile security are limited. In fact, there are certain key niches and verticals that are looking hotter than ever for solution providers that can help customers manage devices and better secure application.
Some key opportunities and trends make the following markets desirable for the channel:
- Banking mobile security
- Mobile device management
- End-to-end consulting and deployment
- Growing vendor maturity
Let's take a look at each in greater depth.