Discussion of the challenges of securing and providing mobile access was key at yesterday's IDC security conference in London.

Of the many challenges, including malware attacks against devices and service provision, new discussion points were also raised.

Simon Young, general manager of server security at Trend Micro, said that developing and collecting an audit trail of activity is becoming more difficult due to the use of mobile devices and remote working.

Talking about application control, Florian Malecki, EMEA enterprise product marketing manager at SonicWall, said that the challenge is how to make sure access to a critical application is achieved by creating a rule, and have time limits on when they can be accessed. “You need to be able to manage the access that mobile workers need to offer the capability for day to day business,” he said.

Also speaking at the event was Howard Clegg, head of solution sales at Vodafone. He said that the challenge in terms of devices is that they are getting the same attention as laptops, and Vodafone was seeing interest in terms of full security.

He said: “We need to address and be smarter in the development and need to agree that smartphones are as complex as a laptop. The speed of the device type is growing and I agree that attacks on smartphones are low but 2010 has seen a rise in attacks for the smartphone. Also, a user is 15 times more likely to use a smartphone than a laptop.”

Commenting, Amrit Williams, CTO of BigFix, said that as mobile devices are used for email and to read documents, uses do not have the level of control that they do on desktops and laptops.

He said: “We are now focussing on how we can expand our focus for mobile devices, we have a prototype for managing iPads and looking at devices to work with it. It started to become a problem and IT could say ‘don't bring personal devices into work' but this is a whole new world of pain for them.”