Security Experts:

A New Role in IT - The Mobile Strategist

Today, the average number of mobile apps accessed daily is more than double the average number of times an employee logs into legacy systems each day. Clearly, mobile adoption in the enterprise is not plateauing any time soon, nor is the threat associated with mobile.

As a wide variety of mobile devices and applications continue to infiltrate the enterprise, organizations have been forced to rethink their approach to security. The issue is so great that many organizations are creating a new role to deal with the era of mobile. Dubbed the mobile strategist, this person is tasked with advising and guiding their company through the overwhelmingly popular BYOD trend with a security strategy in mind. A recent survey (PDF) found that 75 percent of companies have created some type of “mobile strategist” role to support mobile efforts, further demonstrating how this role is quickly becoming an integral part of IT and security teams.

Mobile StrategistWith 68 percent of organizations having already experienced security breaches as a result of a compromised mobile device, this new role will play a crucial part in mobile data security. The mobile strategist must consider not only how to implement BYO devices and applications in the enterprise, but how to do so in a secure fashion. It’s vital that the mobile strategist maintain visibility throughout the entire organization, considering user experience, mobility, technology integration and security at every step.

This can be a daunting task, especially in the BYOD era, as the mobile strategist is entirely responsible for unifying mobile, securing the data and the meeting end-user productivity needs. One of the biggest challenges for mobile strategists will be replacing first generation technologies that were bought ad-hoc, with new technologies that can meet security protocols and end-user needs. Additionally, mobile teams will have a much harder time adapting to changing technology, as the user is far more involved in a BYOD enterprise and is essentially in control of their device.

Mobile strategists should prioritize the data over the device, drastically shifting how mobile in the enterprise is approached. Devices are constantly changing and BYOD now puts security in the hands of users that unknowingly put corporate data at risk.

Mobile teams need to deploy a device-agnostic strategy that focuses on business processes and apps used in the enterprise. In an ever-changing mobile landscape, teams must get above the device and incorporate security into the user workflows from day one.

Mobility is maturing quickly and companies are developing more internal mobile applications and moving processes from laptops to mobile devices. As a result, we will continue to see not only the emergence of, but also the growing relevance of, the mobile strategist within organizations of all sizes. While this role will continue to evolve, forward-looking companies that have already adopted a mobile strategist will be best equipped to manage the ever-changing mobile landscape. The mobile strategist will play a pivotal role in mobile integration, as they pave the way for the organizations to do so purposefully and securely.

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Adam Ely is the Founder and COO of Bluebox. Prior to this role, Adam was the CISO of the Heroku business unit at Salesforce where he was responsible for application security, security operations, compliance, and external security relations. Prior to Salesforce, Adam led security and compliance at TiVo and held various security leadership roles within The Walt Disney Company where he was responsible for security operations and application security of Walt Disney web properties. Adam is a CISSP, CISA, NSA IAM, MCSE and holds an MBA from Florida State University.