When I first started in IT, one of the first things I learned is that it is far easier to support thousands of the same computer than thousands of different computers. This is the primary reason why enterprises try so hard to have standardization. It not only makes it easier to support from a help desk perspective; it also makes it easier to secure the devices.
With the explosion in the use of mobile devices, the philosophy and goal of standardization has become increasingly difficult to maintain. This is due to a number of different reasons, including the following:
Mobile devices are evolving at a tremendous rate.
Individuals themselves, not always enterprises, are buying the mobile devices.
Many companies don't have a formalized plan in place to provide and address mobile devices.
Clearly, this provides a significant challenge to the enterprise. How do you protect against devices when you don't know what is being used? Couple that point with the fact that it can be a daunting task to keep up with the overwhelming sea of devices that are in the marketplace, and you have a pretty big challenge to overcome.
In this chapter I categorize and quantify the different types of mobile devices that are in the marketplace. This chapter actually serves two purposes, one intentional and one not.
The first is that it will help you get a grip on what is really out there these days. Why is this important? Well, let's say that a vulnerability comes out that can exploit ...