AT&T bulks up mobile security

The carrier will be offering a new security platform and services to large businesses. A consumer version is expected to be released next year.

AT&T is getting serious about security.

AT&T plans to offer more security offerings to consumers and businesses through its partnership with Juniper. AT&T

The Dallas telecommunications giant said today it is partnering with Juniper Mobile to offer a new security platform and additional services designed to protect its mobile customers. AT&T will begin selling the platform to businesses later this year, and says it plans a consumer-grade version next year.

Recent security breaches at companies such as Monsanto and Sony and its PlayStation network , as well as at law enforcement and other government agencies, have raised red flags on the need for better protection. While PCs have long enjoyed an array of security applications, smartphones, which are essentially computers in their own right, have lagged behind in adequate protection.

AT&T's announcement with Juniper could shore up what has been a potential vulnerability on the mobile side and offer consumers and businesses better protection. The platform is part of what the company calls a comprehensive security offering integrating both wireline and wireless security policies for consumer, business and government customers.

Juniper last year acquired S-Mobile Systems, which offered smartphone security to high-profile government and corporate officials, to cater to this area.

"Mobile security is the 'next frontier' for our continued effort to mitigate cyber-threats and to help protect our customers' information," said Ed Amoroso, AT&T's chief security officer.

Related stories:
• Researchers decrypt data on mobile networks
• Study: iPhone, Android apps store sensitive user info
• Sprint offers McAfee security apps for Android

AT&T isn't the only one getting into the security game. Sprint Nextel yesterday said it would begin selling an Android version of the McAfee security software for smartphones and tablets.

The AT&T Mobile Security application, which is based on Juniper's Junos Pulse system, will allow companies using the platform to maintain compliance with government regulations, enforce their own security policies, manage personal or corporate-owned devices, monitor and control applications, and protect against viruses and other malware.

The upcoming consumer version will also guard against viruses and malware and offer better controls over applications.

"Teaming with AT&T to bring this unique and comprehensive mobile security solution to market will enable a vast number of consumers and enterprises to have state-of-art security features in their mobile life and be better protected from malicious threats," said Mark Bauhaus, an executive in charge of device and network services for Juniper.

 

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