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Sprint creates mobile security alliance

The group will meet to discuss the growing security threats to its customers. Curiously, the other carriers and two of the major wireless players, Apple and Google, aren't on the list of initial members.

A study taken by security software provider McAfee determined that Android had the most threats with 44 pieces of malware found in the second quarter alone. McAfee

Sprint Nextel said today that it has formed a mobile security council to answer the growing threats to its customers and their smartphones.

The charter members include major technology players like IBM and Cisco Systems, security providers such as Lookout, and handset vendors Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility. Curiously, the group doesn't include Google or Apple, two of the major players in the wireless industry, nor does it include the other national wireless carriers.

"Sprint sees the need to comprehensively address mobile security, and we are bringing the industry together in our Mobile Security Council," said Fared Adib, head of products for Sprint. "Sprint and our partners are taking action to identify and get out ahead of potential threats and to raise awareness of security and protection solutions for wireless customers."

Adib added that he welcomes new partners to the council.

A Sprint representative wasn't immediately available to comment on whether it had reached out to some of the other major wireless players.

The industry is moving towards a more proactive approach to addressing security in smartphones. More companies are letting their employees use their own smartphones, which could open up their systems to potential attacks. And while no major threats have popped up, industry analysts and security experts warn that the risk is growing.

A wireless industry trade show held last month featured many announcements addressing security issues. AT&T and Sprint, meanwhile, have each talked about the enhanced security services they are bringing to their business and individual customers. Android security software provider 3LM, a unit of Motorola Mobility, made its official debut at the show, and is also a part of Sprint's alliance.

Mobile security will be a major topic at Sprint's developer conference, which begins tomorrow.