There has been a lot written lately-here and elsewhere-about mobile security. The conceptual questions are whether people are paying enough attention, whether mobile is a bomb waiting to go off or all bark and no bite (to combine overused metaphors).
Regardless, everyone agrees that mobile security is important. During the past week, there have been several announcements in this area that are worth attention.
Sprint has introduced a new element of its Total Equipment Protection (TEP) coverage that enables the user to perform security-related tasks for their smartphones, such as remote locking, erasing contacts, sounding an alarm (even when in silent mode), making the phone visible on a map via GPS and, finally, backing up, managing and restoring contact information. TEP services carry a monthly charge of $10, though the additional services are free beyond that.
In an announcement that tangentially involves security, Enterproid introduced the beta version of Divide, a technology that the company says more securely and efficiently enables the same device to be used for consumer and enterprise purposes. The enterprise side of Divide, the company says, offers deep security, management control and e-mail functionality, a Web browser, IM and SMS that are enterprise grade. Divide offers ARC, a cloud-based management platform. The system can be used with Android 2.2 or higher and will soon be available for other smartphone platforms.
Last week, Kaspersky Lab extended protection for BlackBerry and Android devices in its Mobile Security 9. The package offers anti-theft and privacy for Symbian and Windows Mobile in addition to BlackBerry and Android. If a device goes missing, data can be secured and the device tracked via SMS, the release said. Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 also offers mobile content filtering and SIM Watch, a way to circumvent SIM card switching as a way to disable.
Though the security situation may be more or less under control, there are constant reminders that nobody can afford to let their guard down. Info Security reports that NetQin Mobile, a Chinese security firm, has spotted two viruses-SW.SecurePhone and SW.Qieting-in the wild. The story says that SW.SecurePhone monitors the phone and collects data without an icon being displayed. SW.Qieting automatically forwards messages to a monitoring phone without the user's awareness.