Canalys reports that 86% of SMBs surveyed in the United States are not investing in mobile phone security

Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Canalys today announced the results of its latest US survey, indicating that 86% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have not yet adopted mobile phone security throughout their organizations[1]. The research signals an alarming gap between the growing number of mobile phones, especially smart phones, and their secure usage.

‘With Canalys estimating that the US smart phone market will continue to grow by close to 30% over the next few years[2], mobile phone security represents both a big business risk and a market opportunity,’ said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. ‘The increasing number of private devices entering the workplace adds to the security problem, but smaller companies can’t seem to keep pace with the appropriate protective measures.’

The research confirmed RIM’s strength in the SMB space, as BlackBerry smart phones were the most widely used by the organizations questioned – ahead of devices from Apple, Motorola and Samsung. BlackBerry was also the most accepted platform among SMBs surveyed, with Android following in second place.

‘The growing acceptance of Android in the enterprise is a concern,’ said Canalys Enterprise Director Matthew Ball. ‘Android could pose the biggest threat to mobile phone security, as it’s arguably the highest risk platform. The growing number of application downloads – across all platforms – presents the biggest security threat, due to spyware, viruses, and other forms of malware.’

Among SMBs without a mobile phone security solution, 66% claimed it is an important issue, with this number increasing to 91% for those with mobile phone security already in place. SMBs cited lack of awareness and cost as the greatest barriers to the adoption of security measures.

Most of the SMBs surveyed with mobile phone security solutions purchased them directly from a security software vendor. McAfee and Symantec were the preferred suppliers, at 40% and 32% respectively. Likewise, there was a strong correlation between mobile phone and PC security features, with SMBs noting anti-virus as the most important security feature to have. For those without mobile phone security, most SMBs expected to buy solutions from their mobile phone network operators.

‘With such a significant opportunity right now, there are a lot of companies trying to capture the mobile phone security market,’ said Ball. ‘To capitalize, though, vendors will have to develop different approaches to address the key customer segments, including consumers, SMBs and larger enterprises.’

About Canalys Mobile Security Analysis

Designed specifically for mobile operators, and hardware and software vendors, Canalys’ Mobile Security Analysis is the leading continuous service delivering market intelligence on mobile security. Through regular reports, market data and direct analyst contact, Canalys in-vestigates and advises on the issues facing the companies competing for consumer and enterprise customers in this market. The service identifies and analyzes emerging trends and gives clear recommendations for action.

About Canalys

Canalys serves the technology industry with high-quality analysis, produced via a rigorously consistent methodology that is complemented by attentive customer service. Its talented, ambitious and globally integrated team are leading-edge users of technology. We deploy innovative web-based solutions to gather research, connect communities and provide customer friendly deliverables. These investments underpin the company’s long-term approach to consistent, profitable global growth.

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[1] Canalys Mobile Security Analysis, February 2011, based on 814 SMB respondents across the United States. For this survey, SMBs were defined as those companies with 500 or fewer employees. 
[2] Canalys smart phone market data: compound annual growth rate prediction for 2009 to 2014.


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 Canalys reports that 86% of SMBs surveyed in the United States are not investing in mobile phone security


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