September 19, 2005
SmartTrust and F-Secure ally to manage the threat of mobile viruses.
SmartManage Protect(tm) allows mobile operators to manage handset's antivirus software over-the-air
Mobile device management specialist SmartTrust, and F Secure, a market leader in mobile content security solutions, have signed a partnership that will give mobile operators better control over the management of anti-virus software amongst their subscribers.
The agreement forms part of SmartTrust's recently launched SmartManage
Protect(tm) solution, a mobile security management platform that allows operators to manage antivirus clients on subscriber handsets over-the-air (OTA). Mobile operators will be able to automatically detect vulnerable handsets on their network and deliver F-Secure Mobile Anti-Virus software for remote installation. SmartManage Protect will then be able to deliver regular updates and even be able to transfer antivirus subscriptions between handsets, as subscribers upgrade, to ensure continuous protection.
A number of viruses have emerged for mobile handsets and it is possible to create malicious code that makes these devices unusable. A malware incident may result in increased customer support traffic, terminal downtime, a negative customer experience, and slow service adoption.
"Mobile operators have a key role in providing mobile antivirus services to smartphone users. Distribution of the antivirus clients and management of the update service subscriptions are important parts of the service. By combining our expertise in mobile antivirus solutions with SmartTrust's Mobile Device Management capabilities, we can offer operators a complete package for the continuous management of subscribers," says Antti Vihavainen, Vice President, Mobile Security, of F-Secure.
"As consumers, we are being told that our mobile phones can be used to download music, games, movies and many other types of content. To leverage the revenue potential of these new mobile applications mobile operators will need to ensure their customers feel confident when downloading. Should an operator's customers experience data loss, the damage to the operator's brand could be substantial," explains Paul Cuss, CEO of SmartTrust.
"There is little doubt about the potential threat of mobile viruses, particularly to those subscribers with advanced handsets," continues Cuss.
"Virus writers will look to replicate the harm caused in the desktop environment with mobile consumers facing the possibility of lost data, rogue dial-up connections and even the complete corruption of equipment.
Unfortunately, as the technology becomes more sophisticated, so the threat of viruses increases."
Since the first mobile virus was identified in 2004, the advancement of mobile technologies has opened the door to virus writers. Multimedia messaging services, e-mail and Internet connections, Bluetooth and even removable storage media all represent possible points of entry and distribution for mobile viruses.
The SmartManage Protect solution is part of the SmartManage(tm) portfolio of mobile device management technologies. SmartManage is already in use across more than 30 mobile networks around the world, delivering initial device detection and configuration through to the continued support and delivery of new features to handsets over-the-air. Today's announcement adds mobile user and handset protection to the solution's portfolio of features.
F-Secure Mobile Anti-Virus is the most comprehensive solution available for protecting smartphones against harmful content, from malicious applications and messages. It provides real-time, on-device protection and automatic over-the-air antivirus updates. While the solution is currently available for Symbian OS devices, the same service will also be available for Windows Mobile devices during the second half of the year.