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This Week in Enterprise Mobility: FUD Edition

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1. McAfee on the Mobile Security Conundrum

Enigmatic CEO John McAfee recently spoke at the SecureCIO conference, revealing his view that mobile poses a whole new array of risks for the enterprise. As he noted, mobility means that every employee is suddenly a potential weak link in the security chain. With enterprise and consumer apps multiplying like rabbits every day, the issue of data security is only going to get bigger. Especially as smartphone capabilities and features increase, the types of data that hackers can target and the nefarious actions they can dream up also increases. So, should we throw all our devices in the ocean and go back to communicating via landline? That’s about as unlikely as it is unwise, and at the end of the day, as Peter Zavlaris says, “being paranoid about mobile might actually be healthy for security.” Amen to that.

2. What Happens When APIs Don’t Play Nice?

APIs can be a key piece of your mobile strategy from a customer happiness standpoint. In fact, for new apps, the key to success often is to draw upon multiple data sources to create entirely new ways of getting things done. Slack, a new collaboration app that integrates with Twitter, Twilio, GitHub and beyond, is a great example of this. That said, as Matt Weinberger at CITEworld points out, Slack is in a bad position indeed if one or more of its more established partners suddenly decides to pull the plug. This is the darker side of the API economy, the fact that an outside data source — via an API — can easily decide the fate of a given app. So, what’s an app to do? Should you avoid using 3rd-party functionality because the hand that giveth can easily taketh away? We believe that you should continue to strive for what’s best for your users. Oftentimes, more data sources allow for more innovative user experiences, and the risk you incur by ignoring a valuable API is usually greater than the risk of building an app that doesn’t serve your users’ needs.

3. The App Popularity Contest Rages On

And just because we can’t leave you with too much fear, uncertainty and doubt on a Friday afternoon, comScore recently released a list of the top 25 apps in the U.S. right now. The ranking is based not just on downloads, but on two key mobile metrics: engagement and retention. Not shockingly, Facebook leads the pack with more than 115 million unique visitors during the month of June. That means 72 percent of the folks in the U.S. who use mobile apps use Facebook. Not too shabby. Google also dominates the list, with six discrete apps clocking into the top 25, which goes to show that you can’t have too much of a good thing, at least when it comes to functional mobile apps. Some might be surprised by the dearth of games in the top 25, but it goes to show that while games may be very popular when they first launch, they lose appeal over time in a way that truly useful — and social — apps do not.

What are you doing to hedge your bets when it comes to APIs and mobile security?

And what’s your favorite app today?

Tell us in the comments!

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