Trend Micro Protects Android, iOS With Mobile Security Launch

Trend Micro is moving further into the mobile space with the launch Monday of Mobile Security 7, targeted at partners who might use it to help businesses struggling to protect corporate data stored on Android and Apple’s iOS mobile devices.

Mobile Security 7 combines both security and management capabilities for a slew of new mobile devices, including Android, iPhones and iPads, touting threat prevention, data protection and mobile device management operated by a single console.

The offering was coupled with the release of a Trend Micro study of the consumerization of IT, which found that almost two-thirds of organizations allow employees to use personal mobile smartphones and tablets for business functions.

’There are challenges to consumerization that expose organizations to greater risk," said Patrick Wheeler, Trend Micro, senior product marketing manager for mobile device management. ’These devices are like unprotected PCs. Why would I lower the bar? You have full browsers, word processing tools, spreadsheets, collaborative tools—we’d be crazy not to try to secure them. That’s the approach that we take.’

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Mobile Security 7 isn’t the first product of its kind for the Tokyo-based security company. Trend Micro first launched its Mobile Security version 1.0 in December 2004 as a free download, which initially offered protections for the Symbian operating system.

The most recent version 7 now incorporates protections for Android, with capabilities around BlackBerry and iOS coming out later this year, and comes equipped with expanded data protection and security features, including power-on-password enforcement and device security event notification.

Stephen Nacci, regional account manager at Everything Maintenance, a division of TLIC Worldwide, based in Exeter, R.I., said that the Trend Micro mobile offering comes at a good time as he sees customers struggle to deal with a growing number of disparate mobile devices. As such, it will likely provide a much-needed value add for their business in a rapidly growing space, he said.

’Because so many customers right now are very aware of mobility and its use, being able to tell them today that we have them covered is a great boost for our overall practice,’ Nacci said, adding that down the road, the mobile security offering could be used as an integral part of a niche vertical practice.

’There are also a lot of niches that are actually pretty big: for instance, health care and their adoption of mobile devices for use by patient care professionals,’ he said.

Wheeler said that while many of the mobility offerings focus on management, Trend Micro’s new offering in particular focuses on security with an array of features dedicated to protecting mobile devices used in the workplace.

’Most of what you hear in the industry is about mobile device management,’ Wheeler said. ’But protecting data is the next big challenge. As much as you think your iPhone is physically attached to you, it's not.’

Specifically, the mobile security product incorporates malware protection and intelligence infrastructure, firewall/IDS call and message filtering and logging and password enforcement.

In addition, Mobile Security 7 features centralized device management, which includes enrollment, provisioning and de-provisioning, as well as data protection for mobile devices, along with enhanced visibility into devices and status. It also comes equipped with data protection capabilities, which enables remote device lock and wipe of corporate data if the device is lost or stolen.

Next: Mobile Security Offering Addresses MSPs With Multiple Customer Environments

The new console also provides broad platform support for a myriad of form factors, including Android, iOS, Windows and Symbian, and will be available through the channel as a standalone solution, a plug-in for Trend Micro OfficeScan, or as part of an array of security suites.

Wheeler said that the new offering targets MSPs and other service-oriented partners by enabling them to secure and manage multiple customer environments on an array of platforms that include virtualization, cloud services, mobile security and endpoint infrastructure.

’Really, many partners are trying to go beyond the role of taking and fulfilling orders,’ Wheeler said.

Trend Micro’s updated mobile offering comes amid competing launches, such as Symantec’s impending release of its mobile security and management platform , which also addresses the growing need for comprehensive mobile security and management in the enterprise.

Nacci contended that what separates this mobile security product from others is the fact that it can be offered as a standalone or incorporated along with other products, making it an easier upgrade for customers with existing Trend Micro infrastructure.

"The fact that it can be a part of their overall endpoint product, OfficeScan, as well as available individually, is a big plus,’ Nacci said. ’We think it is critical to have mobility be a part of a company’s overall endpoint security posture, so being able to incorporate mobile security into a standard endpoint security product such as OfficeScan in our mind is the best way to go.’

Trend Micro’s mobile launch comes with the release of a consumerization study, which the company also released Monday. Among other things, the study found that 74 percent of respondents allowed employees to use personal devices for work-related activities, while 80 percent of respondents think that the presence of corporate data on a mobile device puts the organization at greater risk of attack.

In addition, half of IT decision makers said that companies should offer employee-owned devices, while 79 percent said that employees should be required to install mobile security solutions on their personal mobile devices.

The multitude of mobile devices underscores that mobility is going to be an integral part of an organization’s basic security infrastructure, Nacci said.

’Mobility has to be a part for the overall need for securing data,’ Nacci said. ’It’s really business as usual in an ever changing computing world as far as we’re concerned.’