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Mobile device security key trend in top 10 most read stories of 2019

Mobile devices provide productivity benefits but introduce security concerns, a delicate balance for IT pros that surfaces in this year's list of most read stories.

Mobile devices have gained an increasingly prominent place in our lives in recent years, and the business world has not been immune to this shift.

Our most-read mobile computing articles of 2019 made it clear that enterprises are incorporating smartphones and tablets into their corporate activities and looking to reap productivity benefits while avoiding the inevitable security problems they will encounter.

Per our top 10, IT professionals sought new ways to ensure mobile device security, considered the effects of new mobile devices in the workplace and looked for a wider view of how mobile can benefit or challenge their organizations.

Here is a countdown of this year's most-read SearchMobileComputing articles, determined by page views.

  1. Tackle mobile device authentication with modern methods

Like any technology with access to sensitive information, mobile devices can pose a security risk. Fortunately, there are options for IT professionals to authenticate such devices beyond the traditional password. Biometric authentication such as fingerprint or iris scans needed to enable access is one such avenue, with many devices offering built-in features to accomplish those tasks. A software portal controlling access to company apps can ensure protection even if a hacker breaks into a device. Another solution, direct autonomous authentication, checks a device's phone number when an attempt to access a portal or protected app is made, determining identity without direct action from the user.

  1. Top 3 emerging mobile app development trends for 2019

Three trends in mobile desktop development were poised for a breakout last summer. One, progressive web apps (PWAs), or applications that open in a web browser, provide the benefits of a web app as well as native-like features such as push notifications and quick loading. The technique was limited to Android, however, as Safari did not support the approach at the time.

Two, instant apps can access a device's hardware without a user having to install it, enabling quick tests of the app's functions. However, the trend required developers to break their code into smaller pieces, or modules, to take advantage of it -- and, like PWAs, it was limited to Android devices.

Three, modularization deemed a better way to discover and eradicate bugs and promote code ownership among developers. Some, though, said further steps like cleaner interfaces with shared libraries were needed for the trend to truly take off.

  1. Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset brings AR to enterprises

Microsoft decided to pitch its latest augmented reality offering, HoloLens 2, to businesses rather than consumers. The new device doubled the field of view and included better eye tracking at a lower cost than its predecessor, offering workers the chance to map digital information onto the physical world.

  1. Samsung Galaxy S10 phones coming with 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and more

In early 2019, we detailed the features of Samsung's newest generation of mobile devices, the S10, S10e, S10+ and S10 5G. Among the changes were a faster processer, the Dynamic AMOLED screen and Infinity-O displays and the option for 5G compatibility. The devices were released in March.

  1. 4 identity and access management trends sharing the market

Identity and access management is key to deterring mobile device security threats. This April article focused on trends with these tools, aiming to keep IT professionals abreast of the latest developments in the market. In it, organizations were urged to apply more stringent means to proving identity than a single login. Apps from Microsoft and MobileIron were held up as examples, and vendors like VMware and Microsoft have increasingly integrated authentication into their products. Another development was cloud-based identity management. Google and Amazon included such services to their offerings. Finally, some companies broke authentication into microservices, like token exchange, token validation and authorization.

  1. Samsung's 1 TB internal phone storage means headaches for IT

With more storage on mobile devices comes more security headaches for IT. In February, we examined the implications of the increased storage capacity from Samsung's Universal Flash Storage 2.1. Additional space, noted Small World Big Data IT industry analyst Mike Matchett, means more applications and data that IT professionals must protect.

  1. How Apple iOS 13 device management features benefit IT

This year's Apple iOS release included new device management features for IT professionals. We sat down with Zach Blum, CEO and co-founder of Apple management platform vendor Fleetsmith Inc., for a Q&A about the new developments. Blum said the new user enrollment feature would help companies with BYOD policies keep devices safer, and the separate OS for iPads would enable IT to run more resource-intensive enterprise apps. He said he hoped Apple would continue to be responsive to businesses, especially smaller enterprises, in refining its OS.

  1. New AMD Ryzen PRO, Athlon PRO processors added to AMD lineup

AMD released four new mobile processors -- Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U, Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U, Ryzen 3 PRO 3300U and Athlon PRO 300U -- to provide increased battery life and improved security for commercial notebooks. The chips added to CPU performance and were intended to power a variety of computers -- from systems designed for everyday tasks to those handling heavier loads such as software development and scientific applications.

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of mobile devices in business

This September article, part of our Buyer's Handbook, spoke of the mobile device options, benefits and drawbacks for today's companies. Devices like smartphones and tablets enable workers to complete tasks without being tethered to a desk and reduce paperwork, but mobile device security and adapting to the variety of mobile products on the market can be challenging for IT professionals. With proper management, though, mobile devices can be a true asset for organizations.

  1. The end of hybrid Intune MDM and what IT needs to know

In September, Microsoft retired its Intune hybrid mobile device management (MDM) tool, and this article explained what IT professionals needed to know. The article laid out options, which included managing Intune MDM through the Azure portal. Other vendors, like VMware and Citrix, have MDM products for business as well, although these, too, are based on cloud platforms. On-premises solutions, like Hexnode MDM and ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus, presented another option for IT pros to consider.

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