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Symantec conference puts focus on mobile security

At its annual Symantec Vision conference attended by enterprise customers and business partners, Symantec laid out its management and security product strategy for mobile endpoint devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Google Android devices.

Symantec is offering a choice between two approaches to establishing management and security on Apple iOS and Android devices. The first, Symantec Mobile Manager, is its primary mobile device management (MDM) platform for enrolling corporate mobile devices and managing them. The second, for what's defined as mobile application management, is seen as especially useful for companies embracing the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend because it allows IT managers to isolate mobile apps and their data according to whether they are for corporate or personal use.

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This second mobile application management choice, available in either a cloud-based or on-premises approach to manage iOS, Android and HTML5 apps, is based on Symantec's recent acquisition of Nukona. Brian Duckering, senior manager of product marketing for enterprise mobility at Symantec, says Symantec is retiring the Nukona name.

About the BYOD phenomenon, Duckering said, "Some companies want you to bring your own device. But the problem comes in highly regulated industries with more risk aversion. The policies they'd put in place on a device would be restrictive, such as restricting Facebook or use of a camera, for instance." These are the kind of controls that could be applied through mobile application management, which would also let you apply authentication and encryption controls to each app specifically.

When it comes to corporate-owned devices, "people typically start with MDM," said Duckering. The choice is becoming to manage the device or manage the app, though some organizations that are large enough could have cause to do both.

Symantec also announced:

- Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Mobile, which already supports iPad, has added support for iPhone.

- Symantec Certificate Intelligence Center for Mobile, an addition to Symantec's SSL certificate management service for tracking Web-based and internal certificates. CIC for Mobile is available on Apple iPad.

- For developers, Symantec code signing for Android, a tool for digitally signing their .APK files for the Android platform. The cloud-based service allows developers to securely manage their certificate keys and store their signed applications. It's said to be the first dedicated Android Root certificate from a security vendor.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.


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