With hackers becoming more effective in targeting and exploiting emerging technologies -- such as smartphones, media tablets and associated cloud services -- enterprises are investing in mobile endpoint security software to protect and manage mobile devices.
Hackers are able to gain access or control of mobile devices via malicious software (malware), while mobile applications (apps) on the device can perform unwanted, high-risk actions. This threat jeopardizes the safety of sensitive data stored on the mobile device, as it can be lost or stolen.
With the ubiquity of mobile devices and trends such as bring your own device (BYOD) to work, industry and government regulations requiring businesses to control network access for all device types and applications adds to market growth.
According to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan, the mobile endpoint protection market earned revenue of $433.5 million in 2012, and estimates this to reach $1.0 billion in 2017. They note that endpoint security specialists -- McAfee and Symantec -- lead the market. However, several innovative competitors, including entrepreneurial start-ups, are making progress in this market.
"Smartphones may fail to meet organizational security and compliance policy requirements as they are extremely susceptible to mobile malware breaches and unwanted or high-risk mobile applications," said Chris Rodriguez, senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
However, the mobile endpoint solutions market faces competition from other mobile security products. For instance, mobile device management (MDM) capabilities are considered an essential first step in addressing mobile security needs and a suitable replacement for mobile endpoint security solutions.
Unfortunately, MDM does not address mobile malware and unwanted or high-risk mobile applications. Businesses worldwide severely underestimate the risk presented by truly smart smartphones and media tablets, and therefore delay the adoption of comprehensive solutions.
Mobile endpoint protection vendors could acquire MDM companies to enable a robust enterprise endpoint security and device management portfolio. Plus, new technologies such as cloud-based malware analysis, application wrapping, and containerization will further widen the global customer base.
While end users from the business segment are opting for established security vendors that offer enterprise central management and reporting capabilities, emerging start-ups are gaining traction in the strategically important consumer market with inventive, free or low-priced solutions.