Symantec Takes Mobile Security To The Cloud


Symantec plans to start selling next year cloud-based technology that enables wireless carriers to provide businesses and consumers with options for controlling mobile access to Web sites.

Symantec’s Accelerated Next Generation Network Protection [NGNP] product will be hosted in the data centers of Edison, N.J.-based Tekmark, which sells security, consulting and quality-assurance services. Symantec will start selling the service to carriers in the first half of next year.

A third partner, Seattle-based Centri Technology, will provide the application that runs on the mobile device and communicates with Tekmark’s servers, which will run the Symantec software. Centri is a two-year-old startup backed by Lake Forest, Ill.-based private investment firm RimLight.

Symantec started selling NGNP software to carriers a year ago. Because of the ongoing deployment of 4G networks, carriers are slow to buy additional services they would have to deploy themselves. Adding services often get a lower priority on carriers’ list of technology chores. “It’s an arm wrestle between the chief marketing guys and the network engineers,” Ray Greenan, marketing director for Symantec’s telecom group, said.

Symantec announced the cloud-based Accelerated NGNP Tuesday at the 4G World in Chicago. The product enables individual users or a business to configure mobile phones to block access to individual URLs or groups of Web addresses.

The technology also checks Web downloads for malicious content. Such services are useful to businesses issuing mobile phones to employees and parents who want to control their children’s Web surfing.

Because of the Centri application, a mobile device remains connected when the mobile phone users move from the carrier’s network to a Wi-Fi network, Greenan says. Such roaming capabilities wouldn’t be available if the Symantec software was deployed on the carrier’s network.

Symantec plans to sell Accelerated NGNP based on the number of carrier subscribers using the service.