Get Ready for Mobile Virtualisation

The concept of mobile virtualisation has been around awhile. Its actual application in mobile devices, however, has only recently become more prominent thanks to both emerging technologies to implement it and the increased use of smartphones in Australia.

It’s hard to remember a time when Australians weren’t attached to their mobile devices. Even though mobile virtualisation has been discussed in the media for years, there wasn’t an urgent need for the solution because smartphone penetration wasn’t as deep. In 2008, less than 5 per cent of engineers used the technology in mobile devices, says a Venture Development survey, and another 31 per cent had no idea what mobile virtualisation even was.

The need for security

By 2011, Australia had the second highest smartphone penetration in the world. It wasn’t just that more Australians were using smartphones – they were using them at work more often, creating a situation in which personal information and corporate data could potentially mix. All of a sudden, security solutions such as mobile virtualisation became more necessary.

The surge in Bring Your Own Device at more and more workplaces has opened up company data to security threats. There was an increase of more than 600 per cent in attacks against mobile devices between 2010 and 2011, says research by Kaspersky Lab. Coined as “drive-by-downloads,” these threats infect a phone’s operating system by slipping through a web site vulnerability and rooting the device. The fear, then, is that infected personal devices used at work can put corporate data and systems at risk.

How mobile virtualisation helps

At its basic level, mobile virtualisation allows the IT department to keep an employee’s personal data on one operating system and company data on the other. Company data remains encrypted and is not accessible by an employee’s personal applications. Mobile virtualisation also helps to password-protect corporate data while keeping social networks and email easily accessible. The IT department can do a data wipe of just the corporate information and applications if the device is lost or compromised.

Companies such as VMware have entered the mobile virtualisation market to enable a device to essentially operate as two phones. Operating through the Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) technology, VMware’s Horizon Mobile allows IT staff to create templates to manage the work phone and control access to Software as a Service, Windows and mobile applications. The IT manager can then control the applications and functions to which an employee has access and completely disable the phone should it be lost or stolen.

Datacom understands the need for creative security solutions as the consumerisation of IT affects more and more enterprises. We can enable better IT management of the mobile enterprise through virtualisation in addition to mobile device management (MDM) software, endpoint security solutions and remote management capabilities.

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