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The rapid advances in mobile technology and the explosive increase in the number of mobile workers have changed the way organizations function. No longer confined to offices, no longer dependent upon wired connections, today’s workplace is wherever one happens to be. Workers in virtually every industry, in virtually every job category, can act anytime, anywhere to advance their organizations’ missions and strategies.

With analysts projecting that the number of mobile workers worldwide will reach 880 million by 2009, that’s a lot of workplaces!

More important, that’s a lot of mobile devices, data and applications to manage and secure. Yes, mobile computing is a boon to organizations. It is a competitive requirement. But with the growth of mobile workforces comes the widespread distribution of sensitive and proprietary data outside the secure walls of headquarters. While managing and securing mobile devices, data, applications and communication may sound like a daunting task, it is essential.

Failure to manage and secure these nomadic devices can be catastrophic. Dozens of news reports over the past year have documented just how catastrophic. Public and private companies, public sector organizations and even government agencies that are charged with protecting sensitive information have experienced data losses, malicious intrusions and invasion of customer and employee privacy. They have learned the hard way the cost of failure in terms of legal liability, hard dollar losses, regulatory penalties, damaged reputations and reduced shareholder value.

Mobile Management and Security Now Mission-Critical
Industry surveys of organizations regarding computer security concerns are remarkably similar in the responses they evoke. Data protection, regulatory compliance, access control to devices and systems and the management and protection of mobile devices regularly show up near the top of the lists.

A Washington Post story summed up these concerns with the understated headline: “Spike in Laptop Thefts Stirs Jitters Over Data.”

The article noted that increasing thefts of laptops “are causing anxiety in executive suites across the country as one corporation after another alerts customers that laptops holding troves of sensitive records have been stolen.” Laptop thefts have, in fact, become rather routine.


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