Fight Malware on the Smartphone

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As more and more people bring personal technology into the workplace-most often smartphones--malicious code writers are beginning to take notice and target these weak points of entry. In its 2009 Cyber Threat Report, the Georgia Tech Information Security Center cited the possibility of botnets moving from the desktop to the smartphone within the year. A few enterprise security vendors are not waiting.

On Tuesday, Lumension, a security management company, released Lumension Mobile, a data protection tool specifically designed for Windows Mobile devices.

"We wanted to take a level of enterprise management ... [and use it] to deploy and to monitor mobile devices," said Don Leatham, senior director of solutions and strategy for Lumension.

The agent, once installed on the mobile device, allows administrators to enforce password policy, encrypt e-mail to 64-bit, 128-bit or 256-bit standards, prohibit export of data to a removable external drive, prohibit Bluetooth file exchange, and even allow a company to wipe the data from a phone externally (in the case where the device is considered lost or stolen).

"It identifies devices, groups them within a logical group, and then allows companies to apply group policy to anyone who sends company e-mail or stores company data," said Leatham. He said the first iteration of the tool is to manage executable files; later, the tool will control when and were files can be used.

The tool currently only works on Microsoft Mobile platform devices, which Leatham explained was "low hanging fruit" for his group since his company is a Microsoft Gold Partner. Plans do exist for extending the tool to other platforms--Symbian, Apple, etc.-in the future.

Lumension Mobile is among the first tools to be offered through the newly created Lumension Workshop, where pre-beta and test-market concept applications will be available for review.

Other security vendors who have recently offered new tools for mobile devices include PureWire, Web Security-as-a-Service provider, which released a Web filtering proxy for BlackBerrys last week.

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