In a sign of the increasing proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, Symantec has rolled out three solutions in order to secure and control them
In an effort to help enterprises gain a degree of control over the proliferation of mobile devices in the office, Symantec has introduced three mobile security and management products.
The company said its mobile strategy would focus on the effective integration of its mobile security and management solutions to help customers reduce downtime, increase user productivity, improve response time and provide protection and management throughout the mobile device lifecycle – from provisioning and management to security and eventual device retirement.
Symantec’s mobile management and security strategy follows a lifecycle model, offering three products to help customers mitigate risk, manage complexity, control costs, automate processes and address compliance concerns. Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile Edition 6.0 provides protection for mobile devices against threats and unauthorised access to corporate information by utilising antivirus technology, a firewall, and SMS anti-spam protection.
Symantec Network Access Control Mobile Edition 6.0 works with Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile Edition to enforce compliancy with security policies to ensure that only secure, policy-compliant devices can access the network and email on Microsoft Exchange. Symantec Network Access Control Mobile Edition provides client-based integrity checking and centralised alerting of device integrity status. Assessment of host integrity status for mobile devices helps organisations ensure they are able to consistently enforce IT policy. The solution also offers centralised logging, reporting, and alerting, which help enable businesses to monitor the status of managed devices.
Lastly, Symantec said its Mobile Management 7.0 increases IT efficiency with over-the-air deployment of applications and updates, improves end user productivity by managing mobile device health, and integrates with Symantec mobile security products to manage and secure mobile devices throughout their lifecycle. Mobile Management also provides remote assistance capabilities, real-time system management, granular software delivery and self-repair and visibility into the mobile environment.
“As mobile devices become more sophisticated, provide greater corporate access and store more data, organisations require greater control and management to protect corporate information and ensure user productivity – all while reducing costs,” said Art Gilliland, vice president of Symantec’s enterprise security group. “Our mobile strategy is designed to protect and manage data wherever it resides and automate procurement and provisioning, provide ongoing maintenance and protection, and quickly retire the mobile devices if they are lost, damaged, stolen or replaced.”
Having a comprehensive mobile strategy in place will become increasingly important as mobile devices continue to permeate the business environment, said IDC mobile enterprise software research analyst Sean Ryan. IDC research indicates that the number of worldwide converged mobile device shipments will reach more than 167 million by the end of 2009 and forecasts that it will increase to more than 291 million by 2013. As more mobile devices access corporate networks, often through unprotected pathways, malware writers and criminals will use this window to gain access to sensitive data, the research firm predicts.
“Mobile devices and the growing number of people using them are becoming a bigger target for unauthorised and potentially harmful software, including worms, viruses, and spyware,” said Ryan. “As the sheer number of mobile devices continues to increase and demands on IT continue to increase, the need for organisations to secure and manage these devices and the information on them is significantly elevated.”