Mobile device security considerations for small- and medium-sized enterprise business mobility

Mark A. Harris, Karen P. Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose - This paper's purpose is to identify and accentuate the dilemma faced by small-to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who use mobile devices as part of their mobility business strategy. While large enterprises have the resources to implement emerging security recommendations for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, SMEs often lack the IT resources and capabilities needed. The SME mobile device business dilemma is to invest in more expensive maximum security technologies, invest in less expensive minimum security technologies with increased risk, or postpone the business mobility strategy in order to protect enterprise and customer data and information. This paper investigates mobile device security and the implications of security recommendations for SMEs. Design/methodology/approach - This conceptual paper reviews mobile device security research, identifies increased security risks, and recommends security practices for SMEs. Findings - This paper identifies emerging mobile device security risks and provides a set of minimum mobile device security recommendations practical for SMEs. However, SMEs would still have increased security risks versus large enterprises who can implement maximum mobile device security recommendations. SMEs are faced with a dilemma: embrace the mobility business strategy and adopt and invest in the necessary security technology, implement minimum precautions with increased risk, or give up their mobility business strategy. Practical implications - This paper develops a practical list of minimum mobile device security recommendations for SMEs. It also increases the awareness of potential security risks for SMEs from mobile devices. Originality/value - This paper expands previous research investigating SME adoption of computers, broadband internet-based services, and Wi-Fi by adding mobile devices. It describes the SME competitive advantages from adopting mobile devices for enterprise business mobility, while accentuating the increased business risks and implications for SMEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17104144
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Management and Computer Security
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 14 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 4G wireless
  • Computer security
  • Medium business
  • Mobile business
  • Security considerations
  • Small business
  • Small-to medium-sized enterprises
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Business and International Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences


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