BYOD plus social creating the vector of the future: Frost & Sullivan

The combination of the shift towards mobile platforms for access, and the growth of social media for applications, is creating a “fantastic avenue” for undermining corporate network security, according to Frost & Sullivan.

In response, the company's VP for ICT Research in the Asia Pacific, Andrew Milroy, says the company expects the APAC market for mobile security to approach $100 billion by 2015.

Most of this spending, Milroy told the Evolve 2013 security conference, is currently in Australia, with other markets still lagging even as they far outrun Australia in terms of the number of devices sold each year.

“It's over a year since the bulk of Internet access came from mobile devices, overtaking desktop devices,” he said. What's now important is to get a handle on the degree to which that substitution is taking place in corporate networks – and therefore creating opportunities for mobile devices to act as malware vectors into the business.

That is going hand-in-hand with the shift to data being stored in the cloud – partly because the mobile user in the BYOD environment needs access to their data when they're away from the corporate network, even while at the same time businesses still cite security concerns as the key concern inhibiting their move to the cloud.

After a lot of resistance, he said, big companies are starting to realise that social media can play a very important role in their operations. It has become part of their supply chains, key to communication with both customers and suppliers. This increasing usage makes the mobile-social evolution is “where the impact of the threats becomes bigger,” Milroy said.

It's likely to remain a good time to be a security vendor, with Milroy pointing at the unstoppable invasion of computing in every corner of life. The autonomous car, he said, is providing a good illustration of this.

Even before we reach a world of driverless cars, he said, the intelligence being demanded by customers and increasingly by regulators (such as the European moves to implement eCall) will make vehicle computers an inevitable attack vector of the future.

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