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Symantec makes push to secure mobile devices

Security vendor unveils new tools intended to better protect smartphones and mobile devices for corporate customers and individual consumers.

As people increasingly use their smartphones both for work and for pleasure, Symantec is now offering a range of tools designed to better protect mobile devices, no matter where or how they're used.

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The security company today unveiled several updates to its mobile strategy to help companies, consumers, and carriers all better secure and manage smartphones, tablets, and other portable gadgets.

On the business front, companies face strong challenges in securing the mobile phones on their networks, especially as more employees try to use their own personal gadgets on the job. Many can't support the increasing array of devices on their networks, putting corporate data at risk. Toward that end, Symantec is offering four different product lineups for its corporate customers:

  • Device management: Symantec's Mobile Management product is intended to help IT better keep track of the mobile devices on its network.
  • Device security: Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile Edition and Symantec Network Access Control Mobile Edition are meant to provide a security layer to protect mobile devices.
  • Device encryption: PGP Mobile and PGP Support Package for BlackBerry will encrypt corporate data.
  • Strong authentication: VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Access for Mobile and VeriSign Device Certificate Services will secure passwords and other private information used in business transactions.

Symantec has also unveiled new security features for Android and Apple mobile devices, joining those offered to Windows Mobile, Symbian, and BlackBerry customers. Corporate IT will now be able to inventory the many mobile devices floating about their companies, enforce password protection for those devices, and remotely wipe data from mobile phones if they're lost, Symantec said.

"By providing mobile security and management for smart devices, we're making it easier for enterprises to allow their employees to use their device of choice without putting corporate data at risk," Francis deSouza, senior vice president of Enterprise Security Group for Symantec, said in a statement.

For the individual consumer, Symantec recently launched its Norton Everywhere product lineup, designed to help people protect their personal information if their devices are lost, stolen, or hit by a security threat. Existing Norton Anywhere products include Norton Mobile Security for Android and Norton DNS, which checks every IP address launched to make sure it's safe.

Finally, Symantec says it will soon offer telecom carriers tools to help them better secure their networks and manage policy enforcement and user preferences. The goal is to reduce costs and limit the number of unhappy customers switching carriers due to spam, malware, and network issues.

Symantec's new corporate enterprise and consumer mobile tools are out now, while the services for telecom carriers will be available this coming winter.