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Android devices, apps still risky for the enterprise; other news

In this week's blog round up, analysts discuss Android security risks, big data analytics, women in technology and APM.

Over the last few weeks, the technology industry has gotten some interesting news. Most notably, a recent report by F-Secure revealed 99% of mobile malware attacks specifically target Android devices. Senior analyst at Current Analysis Paula Musich responded to this report and offered some advice. In other news, application performance monitoring continues to overload network managers, and Gartner had a meaningful turnout at its Security and Risk Management summit.

Risky business: Enterprises that allow Android smartphones

Using Google's Android and Android applications within the enterprise is still a huge security risk, according to Paula Musich, Current Analysis senior analyst. Musich reminded readers that endpoint security firm F-Secure found that 99% of new mobile malware targets Android because there's a vulnerability in the Android phone that allows unauthorized applications to make or interrupt calls.

While Google got rid of this vulnerability in its recent 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade, most phones have not been upgraded, and security risks increase with outdated OS systems. In addition, a Columbia University study found several Google Play applications are susceptible to malware and hacker attacks because the keys to unlock them are easily exposed. This could mean easy access for hackers or anyone wanting to steal information from a particular enterprise. Musich said attacks could be prevented by using stronger bring your own device (BYOD) policies that require users to keep their operating systems up to date in order to gain access to the enterprise network from their smartphones.

Read more on how IT can manage BYOD policies in the enterprise to protect from attacks on the Android.

Check you out: Why it's important for IT organizations to give themselves the 'once over'

Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Nik Rouda said it's about time IT organizations started using big data and analytics tools to research their own operations, opportunities and risks. Rouda said it isn't a lack of data that has kept organizations from doing this, but rather a lack of tools to do the research.

Vendors have been working on this for a while, and now, with technologies like Hadoop, they can finally produce information like real-time alerts, troubleshooting and historical analysis. Rouda said the big players in operational analytics are IBM, HP, Riverbed, CloudPhysics and Splunk.

Find out more about why Rouda said it's important for IT organizations to understand their own operations.

APM as a service could be the answer to app management across different platforms

Enterprise Management blogger Julie Craig said application performance monitoring (APM) would be a lot easier with APM as a service tools.

According to a recent EMA survey, respondents were asked which types of applications their IT organizations were delivering as production services, and were prompted to "check all that apply." The results? Custom applications, applications hosted on virtual servers, packaged applications and industry-specific applications were the top four responses.

When so many applications are being hosted on a variety of different platforms, how do organizations monitor and manage all of them? Craig said most of them don't. The main reasons for this, Craig explained, are a lack of time, administrative overhead, lack of in-house skills and a steep learning curve. Luckily, Craig sees hope in new technology services. One in particular is an APM as a service tool from IBM that resides in its SaaS and IT Analytics portfolio.

Read more about how some IT organizations are using APM to organize and gather data from their applications

Do women approach IT with a unique mindset?

Gartner recently hosted its Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, and Roberta J. Witty held an inaugural session on women in information security and risk management.

She surveyed attendees about their relationships with other women in IT, whether they would change their careers if they could, and if women approach IT from a different perspective than men. Her findings? Sixty-five percent wouldn't change their careers. Witty was happy to see that women in IT enjoy their jobs, but a little surprised that 40% of them said they don't work as well with other women as they do with men. Although, 39% said they work equally well with men and women. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that 72% believe women approach information technology from a different mindset than men.

Read Witty's response to these answers and how she plans to use them for further research on women in technology.

This was last published in July 2014

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What kinds of BYOD policy has your organization created to protect against malware on smartphones?