Symantec To Protect Windows Mobile Devices

Upcoming release of Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0 will combine Security, loss mitigation technologies to protect data, improve compliance

Symantec Corp. said today it will release Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0 in May. SMSS provides the security and data protection capabilities on Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs as users now have on laptops. Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0 will use a layered security approach, incorporating antivirus, firewall, anti-SMS spam, and data encryption technologies. It will also help IT easily and cost-effectively comply with internal security policies as well as external regulations.

From insecure public WiFi to home networks, mobile device security is a problem. Sandra Palumbo, senior analyst at the Yankee Group, noted that “IT departments tasked with managing and protecting these devices are having a tough time wading through the wide spectrum of individual security products to determine what is needed and what is not. The vendor that can unify these technologies, ensure they interoperate, and provide a high level of support and manageability will likely find a significant market with corporate IT buyers.” According to Symantec, Yankee Group research shows that enterprise mobile data users will number over 269 million by 2010 -- a 19.8 percent compound annual growth rate. Malware writers and criminals know users connect their unprotected devices to company networks, giving them a path to sensitive data. Research from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network shows that the number of mobile viruses has almost doubled every six months from 2004 to 2006.

Among the integrated security technologies to be included:

  • Antivirus detects mobile threats and prevents users from accessing infected files; regular virus scans and updates can be implemented with Symantec LiveUpdate

  • A firewall to control both inbound and outbound network traffic

  • Anti-SMS spam filter to automatically stop and delete spam messages or move them to a separate folder

  • Loss mitigation to encrypt data on the device (or on its memory card) to protect data should a device be lost or stolen. A file activity log helps administrators determine if confidential files have been accessed, and a data-wipe tool erases all data after a specified number of consecutive login failures.

%Phone feature control which allows administrators to enable and disable some device features, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and device synching not required for business

  • Symantec Mobile VPN, an optional add-on feature enables enterprise customers to connect to corporate networks through secure IPSec VPN tunnels

  • Network Access Control which, when used with the Symantec Mobile VPN, enables IT administrators to ensure only secure, policy-compliant devices access the corporate network

  • Tamper protection verifies the device’s image and security applications to ensure the unit has not been tampered with or altered prior to network access

An management console provides for IT administrators with customizable security policies and reporting.

Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0 and Symantec Mobile VPN 2.6 are expected in North America in May 2007. Symantec says it is scheduled to release a consumer version, Norton Mobile Security, at about the same time. More information is available at

About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (

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