Update for Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone releasedBy Staff Writer 13 June 2011 | Categories: news
IT security firm Kaspersky Lab has announced the release of Maintenance Pack 1 for Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone. This update introduces support for Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS) as well as new versions of the Symbian- as well as Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone incorporates all the necessary components for protecting mobile devices, such as anti-virus and anti-theft modules, protection for personal data and the ability to block unwanted calls and SMSs.
In addition to providing malware protection, Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone keeps corporate data safe even if a smartphone is lost or stolen. It can also assist in locating a lost smartphone using the device’s internal GPS receiver and can inform the owner of the new number if the SIM card is changed.
“The Android platform saw tremendous growth in 2010 and became the leader in early 2011,” said Sergey Nevstruev, head of the mobile solutions business department at Kaspersky Lab. “With Maintenance Pack 1, Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone allows Android and other mobile devices to be integrated into corporate infrastructures.”
“As a result, our solutions ensure corporate data security and protect against threats on the four most popular mobile platforms, a fact that is sure to be appreciated by our corporate clients”.
The popularity of smartphones
Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular with consumers in general. According to Gartner, in Q1 of 2011 sales of mobile phones increased by 19% overall, and of the total sales figure, smartphones accounted for 23.6%, a year-on-year increase of 85%. The most popular smartphone OS is Android, with Symbian and Apple’s iOS coming second and third respectively.
Every day, more people are making active use of their smartphones for work, which offers a new level of convenience, but also introduces new threats to sensitive data. The first effective virus for smartphones appeared in 2004. Worm.SymbOS.Cabir used Bluetooth for attacking other Symbian-operating mobile phones, and back then the advice from analysts were to turn off Bluetooth, when it isn’t being used.
Nowadays though, that advice is no longer suitable as smartphones have more ways to connect to the internet and other devices than most desktop PCs do. In 2011, the number of malicious programs for mobile phones detected by Kaspersky Lab exceeded 500.
A large number of these target ordinary phones via the ubiquitous J2ME platform. The cybercriminals have their sights firmly set on users’ money and personal data, which they try to obtain via SMS and premium rate number scams, and some may even have the capability to intercept mobile banking verification data.
The scope of the threat exceeds malware alone
Malware is not the only way to compromise corporate data on mobiles. In a forecast for 2011 by IDC, they noted that lost or stolen smartphones, application vulnerabilities and device support in corporate infrastructure will become an even bigger problem for companies.
According to IDC’s forecast, “Mobile device support is a growing issue as more corporate employees buy their own laptops, smartphones and other devices and request corporate access to networks, data and applications”.
So, if an unprotected smartphone is stolen, a criminal may not only gain access to sensitive data on the device itself, but to the whole corporate infrastructure as well. A simple analysis of a corporate calendar, which is often automatically synchronised with an employee’s mobile phone, can reveal more than you might expect. A phone book with sensitive business information can reveal even more.
A further problem for mobile phones in general is unwanted calls and SMS. As well as spam, these two issues distract device owners and waste their time and unsolicited SMSs may even contain links to malware or other threats.
New features and improvements in Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone include:
- Full protection for Android-running devices, including virus protection, anti-theft, protection of sensitive data and blocking of unwanted calls and SMSs.
- Other new operating systems, popular in the corporate world, are supported. Maintenance Pack 1 introduces support for Symbian^3 and BlackBerry 6.0. Previous versions of BlackBerry (4.5-5.0) and Symbian (S60 9.1-9.4 for Nokia models) operating systems are also supported, as well as Windows Mobile (5.0-6.5).
- Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone includes features to keep sensitive data confidential, including the communication histories of important contacts.
- Android devices can be centrally managed via the Kaspersky Administration Kit, which enables rules and policies to be set that are in accordance with employees’ activities.
“Mobile devices are having a massive impact on corporate IT,” stated Victor Dronov, senior product manager, mobile solutions business department at Kaspersky Lab. “Along with all the many benefits they bring to everyone’s working lives – mobile email, access to corporate and customer data on the move, new communication abilities – there is also a dark side: information leakage and malware threats.”
“Smartphones are equal in importance to other endpoints such as laptops and workstations – but are very often overlooked when it comes to protection. Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone gives enterprises the opportunity to minimise the risk of confidential data being leaked when mobile devices are lost or stolen and prevents the installation of malicious or fraudulent software.”
Kaspersky Lab also recently released Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Linux-running PCs.
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