Symantec Unveils Strategy to Protect Mobile Devices and Data

Symantec announced tools and services to help users protect and secure mobile devices

Recognizing that the technology landscape is shifting rapidly toward mobility, Symantec today unveiled new tools to help protect mobile devices, and the sensitive data they contain. The mobile security and management strategy from Symantec enables businesses, service providers, and users to manage and secure mobile devices no matter where they may roam.

There have been a couple minor threats, but for the most part the wave of attacks against mobile devices and mobile data has not yet occurred. Malware developers and cyber criminals tend to follow in the wake of consumer demand, but one step ahead of security solutions. Symantec is hoping to get a proactive jump on the attackers and prevent smartphones and tablets from being targeted in the first place.

A Symantec press release about the new solutions explains, "Smartphone usage is growing exponentially, with new mobile device shipments expected to increase by 55 percent in 2010. In addition, Android and Apple iOS devices are expected to own 31 percent of global market share by year's end," adding, "Increasingly the same device is being used for personal use, business use and for accessing entertainment and carrier-provided services. This fundamental shift in behavior offers tremendous productivity increases but also represents new security and management challenges for three key groups--IT organizations, consumers and communication service providers."

The tools from Symantec are particularly welcome for IT admins wrestling with how to manage and protect remote mobile devices. The "good old days" of PCs tethered to desktops nestled comfortably within the four walls of the office, and protected by a perimeter firewall are long gone. The responsibility is the same, but now the devices are everywhere, and the need to manage and protect them is a global, 24/7 task.

"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," said Francis deSouza, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, 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."

IT admins have had to adapt to the new mobile culture, and embrace managing mobile devices that are both business tools, and personal entertainment devices at the same time. The trend keeps users happy, but has created challenges when trying to manage and protect devices like iPhones and iPads, or Android smartphones that lack effective infrastructure and management tools.

Symantec's mobile solutions help IT admins manage risk and address the challenge posed by merging consumer and business mobile devices into one. Symantec provides tools to strengthen authentication on mobile devices, and to enable IT admins manage and secure devices, and encrypt the data they contain.

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PC World (US online)
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