The proliferation of mobile devices is opening new opportunities for security vendors, but innovative approaches to the market are needed, Gartner Inc says in a new report.
Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner, says one of the challenges facing vendors is that consumer adoption and willingness to pay for antivirus software on mobile devices is low.
“The use of personal devices at work matches high enterprise demand for solutions to the BYOD security problem,” Contu says. “This presents providers of both consumer and enterprise endpoint security products with an opportunity to enforce security to private devices and potentially expand their footprint into the consumer space.
“Consequently, product managers at consumer security providers need to adopt strategies that allow consumer security use on personal devices in the enterprise workplace.”
Gartner believes that requirements to secure new mobile computing platforms by 2015 will play a major role in consumer buying decisions.
“Product managers are advised to expand traditional endpoint consumer security product capabilities to include all mobile device platforms alongside traditional desktop and laptop offerings,” the company says. “Particular attention should be paid to pricing and product go-to-market models.”
Gartner says consumers are much less willing to pay for antivirus software for mobile devices than they are when it comes to traditional desktops and laptops.
“Consumer security products should be targeted at specific audiences as gender, age and IT skill profiles are key factors in determining certain security demands and willingness to invest into certain security capabilities,” the company says.
“The low use of security products on new mobile platforms, combined with decreasing PC sales, will create ongoing challenges for providers in the consumer security market. Gartner estimates that the average IT-savvy consumer, with higher understanding of heavier use of IT equipment, has five or more devices at home that connect to the internet. However, consumers are far more likely to have an antivirus program installed on their laptops and desktops while tablets, mobile phones and gaming systems that connect to the internet are often left unprotected.”
Gartner says the lack of penetration of security tools among users of new mobile platforms will have significant repercussions on the consumer security market.
“Gartner expects the sale of new PCs and laptops to decline in favor of new mobile platforms, which will shrink the current addressable market. However, as mobile devices gain in mass popularity and as security is likely to become a higher priority in the future, new market opportunities are likely to emerge. Currently, integration of capabilities that stretch across traditional and new mobile device platforms can help providers maintain some momentum and competitiveness.”
Contu says Garner expected cyber attacks to focus increasingly on mobile platforms as they become more popular. “This is likely to make consumers show more interest in security products that address mobile devices and acquire mobile security as part of a broader consumer endpoint security platform,” he says.
“When it comes to obtaining security services for desktops and laptops, younger consumers are much more likely to turn to free antivirus software than consumers aged 50 or older. People in the higher-age bracket tend to be more particular about security and are therefore more likely to purchase an antivirus package.”
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