Y2K – Not a patch on mobile working grief

Managing mobile security is the biggest IT challenge since the millennium bug, a mobile working study suggests.

The study of 300 European IT managers revealed of half of respondents consider keeping tabs on Blackberries and USB devices more difficult than dealing with Y2K.

"Whilst Y2K turned out to be a non-event, at the time it was the only issue on the minds of IT managers because of the scale of the threat and the size of the problem. We find ourselves in the same situation today with mobile security," said Daniel Power, regional manager at security company LANDesk which commissioned the survey. "IT managers recognise the scale of the challenge in front of them but don't seem quite certain what to do about it."

Nearly two thirds surveyed admitted they do not have the mobile security situation totally under control. Over a quarter said they could not say how many mobile devices are being used by employees.Security experts are warning the lack of control leaves networks open to attack.

"Security vulnerabilities are increasing in number and severity and the continuing rise of mobile devices is only exacerbating the situation. Controlling it comes down to management," said Andrew Brown, programme manager at analysts IDC. "Organisations need an effective system in place both from a policy perspective to lay the ground rules and a technology perspective to check and automate those rules. The security solution needs to be proactive not only in detecting threats like viruses and spyware, but also in automating the necessary corrective measures, quickly and effectively."

In April SC reported mobile working was costing business billions every year.

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