The worldwide mobile device market continues to soar in both the consumer and business realms. This is making mobile device integration, management and application security some of the most needed services among organizations and critical skillsets for solution providers.

To help address this CompTIA has introduced a new skills certification for solution providers and developers designed to raise security awareness and preparedness around mobile application development. CompTIA Mobile App Security+ is vendor-neutral and validates the skills required to securely create a mobile application and ensures secure network communications and backend web services, according to the non-profit IT association.

CompTIA realizes that mobile device management and security are growing service opportunities for the channel. In fact, for the first time in history, mobile device shipments are surpassing PC shipments. Going forwared, the gap is only going to widen.

To put things in perspective, worldwide PC shipments are expected to decrease to 315 million this year from 341 million in 2012 and then continue to decline to 302 million in 2014 and to approximately 271.6 million in 2017, according to a research report issued earlier this year by Gartner.

By comparison, mobile devices (including ultra-mobile notebooks, tablets and phones) are expected to rise to just more than a combined 2 billion shipments this year, increasing in 2014 to 2.3 billion and 2.7 billion in 2017, according to Gartner.

"While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device," said Carolina Milanesi, Research vice president at Gartner, at the time the report was issued. "As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis."

On the operating system front, Google (GOOG) Android, Apple (AAPL) iOS/Mac OS and Microsoft (MSFT) Windows will continue to be the top three, the research firm said.

As a result, the two new unique certification exams launched by CompTIA will be for native Android and iOS mobile applications, according to the company.

“Mobile apps numbering in the millions are downloaded daily on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA, in statement. “But too often, in the dizzying race to bring new apps to market quickly, security considerations are an afterthought. With these new certifications we aim to bring the security focus back to where it belongs—in the starting blocks of mobile app development.”

CompTIA said candidates for the CompTIA Mobile App Security+ credential will come from mobile app developers, software developers, applications development managers and network security developers. Complete exam objectives are available on the CompTIA Certification website.

Areas covered in the exams include:

  • Principles of secure application development
  • 
Security models of Android and iOS devices

  • Common threats to mobile app security
  • 
Web services security models and vulnerabilities
  • 
Secure coding techniques

  • Common implementations of cryptography

  • Encryption for storage and communications

The mobile revolution, as I have stated before, has just begun. Mobile application development and security is a critical skill for solution providers moving forward.

Knock 'em alive!