One of the challenges for IT admins when it comes to managing mobile devices is the lack of control or oversight. Businesses have the same data protection and compliance requirements for smartphones and tablets as they do for PCs connected to the network, but they need a way to keep an eye on roaming remote devices. SpectorSoft is providing such a tool for Android with the launch of eBlaster Mobile for Android.
The new tool follows in the footsteps of eBlaster Mobile for BlackBerry, which was introduced last fall. A SpectorSoft press release explains, "Businesses can now use eBlaster Mobile for Android to remotely monitor the activity of anyone using an Android phone that their company owns and assigns to an employee or contractor. All recordings are organized into an easy-to-read Activity Report that is automatically sent to their specified email address as frequently as they choose."
eBlaster Mobile for Android monitors text messaging, voice, and Web surfing activity on the Android device, and also logs the physical location of the smartphone. eBlaster reports are delivered via e-mail and include complete transcripts of text messages--both incoming and outgoing, logs of inbound and outbound calls including duration, and a complete history of websites visited from the device. The physical location information is not very accurate, but gives a general idea of the location of the Android device based on the nearest cell tower.
"With the increase in the adoption of the Android platform for smart phones, business managers must apply appropriate security measures to manage the risk of mobile data. eBlaster Mobile for Android gives business owners a reliable way to monitor Android phone communications and physical phone location, enabling theft protection and minimizing legal and compliance risk," said Ira Victor, Director of Forensics and Compliance with Data Clone Labs, and advisor to the Nevada State Legislature on cybercrime and privacy.
There is also a consumer version of eBlaster Mobile for Android that parents can use to monitor smartphone activity by children. The consumer eBlaster Mobile for Android offers essentially the same features and functions as the enterprise version, but also captures every photo taken with the Android smartphone so parents can be sure that children are not using the camera inappropriately--like for sexting.
Parents and IT admins hoping to keep tabs on roaming iPhones or iPads are out of luck--at least for now. The more restrictive app development guidelines for iOS preclude SpectorSoft from delivering the same monitoring on Apple platforms.
eBlaster for Android is compatible with any device running Android 1.5 or later and costs $69.95 for a one-year subscription for either the enterprise or consumer versions. It is not developed with tablets in mind, though, so your mileage may vary if you attempt to monitor Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab or Motorola Xoom. SpectorSoft is testing eBlaster Mobile for Android on tablets and will support Android tablets in the future.