New Symantec releases take aim at BYOD Android threats

Symantec is aiming its security crosshairs at Android.

The company just released a new set of products designed to protectusers of the popular mobile operating system from threats exacerbatedby the bring your own device (BYOD) trend.

And no wonder. Symantec’s own research has found that 67 per cent ofcompanies are worried about malware spreading to their enterprisenetworks from mobile devices, and mobile vulnerabilities overall shotup by 93 per cent in 2011.

When it comes to Android specifically, the data isn’t exactly stellareither.  An April study by Altimeter Groupand Bloor Researchon behalf of Trend Micro gave Android the lowest security rating – just1.37 out of five – compared with BlackBerry (it scored highest at2.89), iOS (1.7) and Windows Phone 7 (1.61).

With all that depressing research out there, Android fans probably needall the security fire power they can get.

“As part of the next stage of their BYOD initiatives, companiesworldwide are telling us that they’re looking to increase theiradoption of Android devices,” said Anil Chakravarthy, seniorvice-president of Symantec’s enterprise security group. “(So) we’rebringing together a comprehensive set of security and managementsolutions (for Android).”

Here are Symantec’s new offerings for Android junkies: Symantec MobileSecurity for Android (app analysis and threat detection forenterprise), Symantec Mobile Management (Android email security),Symantec PGP Viewer for Android (extends email encryption from PGPUniversal Server to Android devices).

Those craving an Apple won’t be left hungry, however. Symantec alsoreleased its Nukona App Center to protect data on iOS devices with FIPS140-2 encryption.

Don’t let your guard down on Android just yet, though. New Sophosresearch out two weeks ago found that malware infecting Android phonesis spreading spam botnets.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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