Juniper Networks unveiled a suite of software today designed to keep smartphones safe from malware and malicious attacks that enterprises and service providers can use to protect employee and customer devices.
The Juno Pulse Mobile Security suite runs on all mobile operating systems and devices. It includes antivirus, personal firewall, antispam, and remote monitoring and control services. It remotely backs up and restores data and can locate devices that are lost and stolen, as well as wipe data from stolen devices. It also can send an alert when a SIM card has been removed or replaced. For enterprise users, it protects devices accessing networks with SSL-based virtual private network.
The suite is available now to enterprises and Juniper's reseller partners and will be available to consumers through service providers like AT&T before the end of the year. Service providers also will be able to offer enhanced security services like parental controls to consumers.
British telecommunications provider BT will be offering its customers the software, Marc Patterson, BT's general manager of mobile data services, said during a news conference. It's likely AT&T will, too, given that AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan appeared in a video at the event.
The mobile security market is growing rapidly. Last year,
Juniper's offering is broader than the others and covers more platforms, Mark Bauhaus, general manager of Juniper's Service Layer Technologies Business Group, told CNET. "We've got the deepest set of functionality, with management, security and access."
Juniper also announced the opening of a Juniper Global Threat Center, based in Columbus, Ohio, that will track mobile security threats worldwide and issue reports. The center released some research as part of the launch, which includes findings of a survey of more than 6,000 smartphone and tablet users in 16 countries commissioned by Juniper:
There has been a 250 percent increase in the amount of mobile malware over the last year.
A Fortune 15 company discovered that 5 percent of its mobile devices (25,000 in all) were infected with malware.
Almost 44 percent of respondents to the survey said they use their devices for personal and business purposes and more than 80 percent admit using them to access their work network without the employer's knowledge or permission.
Nine out of 10 mobile phones has little or no security protection.
One out of every 20 apps in the Android marketplace requests permissions that could allow the app to place a call without the user knowing.
More than 60 percent of reported smartphone infections are spyware and 17 percent are text message Trojans that rack up fees charged to the device owner's account.
Updated at 3:02 p.m. PDT with BT using the software, comments from Mark Bauhaus, and additional research.