Mobile security is fast becoming a major headache for IT departments, so on Tuesday Symantec released its first enterprise-grade anti-virus software for Android devices. The product, called Symantec Mobile Security for Android, complements the company's consumer-oriented Norton Mobile Security for Android.
The company said that the new product leverages its proprietary technology for monitoring and analyzing millions of Android apps on more than 70 app stores worldwide. This continual monitoring of Android apps enables Symantec to determine which apps, for instance, are subscribing to services without authorization, and then to maintain an Android app blacklist.
Android Apps' Bad Press
Android apps have been getting bad press recently. For example, last month a company called Lookout Mobile Security said some ad providers in free Android mobile apps were accessing personal information without the user's notification or consent, through the use of "adware."
Lookout found about 5 percent of the apps it analyzed used these kinds of aggressive ad networks. Google has been criticized in some quarters for not providing the kind of pro-active monitoring of Android apps on its Google Play marketplace that Apple does in its App Store.
In addition to Symantec Mobile Security, the company is releasing its Mobile Management for Configuration Manager, which utilizes technology it obtained in its acquisition of Odyssey Software earlier this year.
It has also updated Symantec Mobile Management, so that it provides a secure e-mail solution for Android devices via NitroDesk TouchDown integration, and it also now offers native enterprise-grade management for the Windows 7 Phone platform, in addition to its existing support for Android and iOS devices.
CIO's 'Mobile Vision'
Additionally, Symantec's Nukona App Center has been updated so that it protects data on iOS devices with FIPS 140-2 certified encryption, and Symantec PGP Viewer now provides e-mail encryption for Android devices, from the PGP Universal Server.
Anil Chakravarthy, senior vice president of Symantec's Enterprise Security Group, said in a statement that these recent additions to the portfolio of mobile device management and application/data management products provide "a complete platform to enable CIOs to achieve their mobile vision."
In a posting on the Symantec blog on Tuesday, Chakravarthy wrote that a recent Symantec survey indicated "59 percent of enterprises are now making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices," in order to increase efficiency and increase workplace effectiveness. The survey also found that mobile is considered the No. 1 IT risk, riskier than virtualization or public cloud computing.
Chakravarthy has also told news media that Symantec's new tools and updates are providing businesses a way to control the security of applications and data on devices, without having to manage the devices themselves.
This data-centric and app-centric model, he said, is particularly relevant as IT departments deal with providing security as the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend continues to grow.
Image credit: iStock/Artist's concept.
Posted: 2012-07-18 @ 8:27am PT
Great, so now Norton wants to f*@! up Androids too, not just PC and Mac with it's terrible antivirus.