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Smartphone security to be delivered over-the-air

Symantec has announced that South African smartphone users will soon be able to install a mobile security product over the air. The service will be delivered through XON Systems, a Symantec ExSP partner, and will be a first for consumers in the region.

It will be made available through all the major cellular service providers in South Africa that support the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems. The service will be delivered through a seamless ‚over-the-air’ install process, allowing users to activate Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile Edition (SEP ME) on their smartphone by sending an activation code via SMS to a specified number. After a simple confirmation, the software is installed on the phone and the protection for the mobile device is live.

Symantec Endpoint Protection suite offers the smartphone user anti-virus, firewall, network access control and SMS anti-spam protection. Registration and installation is entirely mobile and does not require any PC connection or installation media.

‚The smartphone is becoming the new device for accessing the Internet, and for managing e-mail and messaging,‚ said Gordon Love, regional director for Africa, Symantec. ‚Users are employing the same device for personal and business purposes, increasing the complexity of information protection at work and at home. SEP ME provides the same multi-layer protection for mobile endpoint devices as can be found at the network and gateway levels.‚

According to a study* conducted by Ernst & Young, Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Even with the great disparities between individual African countries, the average mobile penetration for the continent stands at 37% and is expected to rise to 61% by 2012. ‚As the smartphone market grows, the necessity to protect the device from Internet threats such as malware, viruses and trojans becomes increasingly important for individuals and businesses alike,‚ said Love.

Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network shows an increase in the number of threats directed through mobile phones. For example, attackers will target mobile users with scams such as autodialing SMS texts with the intent of deducting credit from the mobile user’s account.

The product will be launched in South Africa on 21st October 2010.

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