Security remains a key concern for corporate users of smart handheld devices, reports International Data Corp., a Framingham, Massachuasetts-based information technology research firm.

In a recent IDC corporate security survey, 32.9 percent of 1,145 respondents indicated they were "very concerned" about the security of data stored in handheld devices. Mobile security concerns are most prominent at organizations with 500 or more employees, IDC found.

Such issues will bolster the software and hardware security product market over the next 12 months as more companies work to safeguard mobile devices, IDC says. "Corporations are recognizing security expenses as part of the overall cost of doing business in a widely distributed, increasingly wireless e-business environment," notes Kevin Burden, manager of IDC's Smart Handheld Devices research.

Survey results also reveal that security within the information technology world is moving from point applications to integrated families of products, and that corporate IT consumers prefer to have their security applications embedded with the operating system or system hardware.

While these changing requirements for security will create opportunities for products and services, they also will pose new challengers for chief information officers and IT managers, IDC adds.

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