Earlier today in Spain, at its Symantec Vision 2010 conference, Symantec Corp. unveiled what it characterizes as a “major update” to its current mobile security and management strategy that will benefit enterprises, consumers and communication service providers.

In addition, the company is offering new security and management capabilities for Android and for Apple iOS, the operating system for the iPhone and iPad; it already had support for Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry in place. Enterprises now can protect the security and integrity of company information and assets via a “remote wipe” capability, password policy enforcement and device inventory.

“Symantec’s mission is to secure people and information through identity, protection and context, and our broad approach to mobile security and management is a key extension of protection for all of our customers,” commented Francis deSouza, SVP/Enterprise Security Group at Symantec. “By providing mobile security and management for smart devices, we’re making it easier for enterprises to allow their employees to use their device of choice without putting corporate data at risk.”

Symantec also points to “exponential growth” in smartphone usage, with new mobile device shipments expected to increase by 55 percent this year alone. And more companies either are allowing their employees to use their own smartphones of choice or are buying more of the consumer-based devices off the shelf. In addition, Android and Apple iOS devices are expected to own 31 percent of global market share by year’s end.

According to Stephen Drake, program vice president/Mobility & Telecom research at IDC, “The explosion of new mobile device platforms into the marketplace and the growing use of these devices for personal and business use has increased the challenge for organizations and individuals to gain a comfortable level of control. Individuals and organizations must take action to secure and manage these devices to ensure their personal and corporate information remain safe.”

As such, Symantec’s new Enterprise Mobile Security and Management offering “helps organizations embrace the ‘consumerization’ of IT by allowing users to select the devices of choice while enforcing governance, securing corporate data and gaining visibility and control of all mobile platforms.” Administrators can centrally define and distribute security policies to devices over the air. The solutions come in several flavors:

  • Device Management (Symantec Mobile Management)
  • Device Security (Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile Edition and Symantec Network Access Control Mobile Edition)
  • Device Encryption (PGP Mobile and PGP Support Package for BlackBerry)
  • Strong Authentication (VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Access for Mobile and VeriSign Device Certificate Services)

Coming soon will be new solutions aimed at communications service providers that allow for more secured networks; better management of policy enforcement and user preferences; increased profitability by boosting customer satisfaction to prevent churn; and reduced costs associated with network misuse, malware proliferation and spam.

-Debra Baker

The Daily

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