Vendor Landscape Is Maturing

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Print this article Print

Smartphones are everywhere, and they are carrying vital corporate data, whether they are secured or not. With the exposure of 150,000 iPad owners' personal data recently, along with new reports that highlight Android security problems, opportunities abound for channel partners that can create a mobile-security practice for business customers.

One of the last and most important factors that will help channel partners' success in the mobile-security market is the fact that partnering vendors are starting to move past the vaporware stage of product development and are making acquisitions that allow them to offer the right mix of solutions and support necessary to help the channel grow in this area.

For example, Symantec last month announced its Norton Everywhere program, a multi-faceted effort to move security beyond the PC. Included in that announcement was the following:

  • a new mobile-device security program for Google Android that includes functionalities such as remote wipe and remote data lockout, malicious application blocking and even call screening.
  • a cloud-based secure storage option for accessing data via Android or iPhone
  • a new secure DNS functionality that filters dangerous content for a range of devices, most notably smartphones and the iPad.

Meanwhile, McAfee announced in June the acquisition of Trust Digital, an enterprise mobility-management and mobile-security software developer. McAfee execs say the Trust Digital portfolio will be fully integrated into ePolicy Orchestrator, giving partners a way to extend ePO across smartphones, thus simplifying the enforcement of mobile-security policies.

And even as the big security players make strides, a spate of smaller software developers, such as Lookout, are cropping up to bring a new generation of free utilities to the market that some channel partners--particularly those that cater to SMB and mid-market customers--can start leveraging to deliver value-added, comprehensive mobile services. Lookout, for example, offers a free mobile-security solution with remote wipe and lockout, antivirus, data backup and, most important, over-the-air device management.