Symantec Buys Mobile App Manager Nukona

Symantec said Tuesday that the transaction is expected to close in April. The Cupertino, Calif.-based security vendor did not disclose financial details.

Nukona's technology adds to Symantec's arsenal of software for managing devices, securing data and preventing malware from entering corporate networks. Nukona, a privately held San Diego-based company, addresses a growing need among businesses to accommodate employees who want to use their own devices to access corporate applications.

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As soon as the deal closes, Symantec plans to release Nukona's products to channel partners selling the company's products for managing devices, Brian Duckering, senior manager of product marketing for endpoint products, said. Symantec plans to eventually make the Nukona software available to security resellers.

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Nukona technology "wraps" individual applications on a mobile device with a layer of code that enables companies to enforce policies on the use of data, Symantec said. By sealing individual apps, Nukona lets employees use the rest of the device anyway they choose.

"It is technology that we didn't have and in fact, it's technology that really hasn't been integrated into any other of the major solutions. It's fairly, fairly cutting edge," Duckering said.

Nukona technology also provides encryption and authentication of the person accessing the app. The company's products, which work on the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms, include a content library for synchronizing documents between a device and a corporate file system.

Nukona complements technology Symantec absorbed through the acquisition this month of Odyssey Software. Symantec was using Odyssey technology in its products for managing Apple iPads and iPhones. The acquisition brought software for also supporting Android and Microsoft Windows 7 devices.

Odyssey requires the installation of an agent that sends information that corporate IT uses to monitor adherence to policies, application use and network performance. For companies that need less control, Nokuna's technology is less intrusive and more applicable for people using their own devices, Duckering said.

Symantec is among the largest companies by revenue in the so-called endpoint security market, according to Gartner. The overall market, which includes laptops, as well as smartphones and tablets, is expected to grow by 8.1 percent through 2015, when it will reach $10.6 billion, according to IDC.