McAfee used the venue of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as an opportunity to announce new techniques and tools for protecting mobile devices, data, and apps. Mobile devices are a huge target for malware and cyber attackers, and McAfee wants to ensure organizations have the tools to use the mobile devices securely.
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Mobile devices have quickly gone from niche devices, to luxury gadgets, to mainstream implements, to indispensible mobile productivity tools. With 16GB smartphones, and 64GB tablets connecting to corporate databases and network resources, it is imperative that organizations are aware of the security risks, and have the tools available to monitor and protect those devices.
John Thode, executive vice president and general manager of McAfee’s consumer, mobile and small business unit, explains in a McAfee press release that device loss, data theft, and malware attacks are all serious concerns. He stresses that businesses and consumers both need security tools in place so they can use their mobile devices with confidence.
Part of the announcements today from McAfee include the unveiling of McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) 10. EMM allows for device diversity and BYOD (bring your own device) environments, and provides secure mobile app access, strong authentication, and compliance reporting through McAFee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO).
McAfee isn’t the only security vendor with eyes on defending the mobile ecosystem either. Symantec, Kapsersky, Webroot, and others also recognize what a juicy target mobile devices represent for attackers, and are also focusing attention on defending them.
In most cases, vendors offer deeper protection for BlackBerry and Android devices, with more peripheral security controls for iOS because Apple does not open the platform up to let security vendors access the core functionality like it needs to do for tools like antimalware. The caveat is that because iOS is more locked down in the first place, and Apple tightly controls the apps available for its mobile devices, there is less opportunity for malware in the first place.
McAfee says that EMM 10 includes expanded data security, including email “sandboxing” for iOS to prevent corporate email from being forwarded from a personal email box, and blocks iCloud to prevent proprietary data from being moved to a user’s personal iCloud account.
The enhanced application security provides application blacklisting for both Android and iOS devices. The admin can define a set of apps and block access to them, and block untrusted SSL certificates to prevent smartphones from visiting potentially malicious websites.
McAfee also revealed a new version of McAfee VirusScan Mobile Security for Enterprise to provide antimalware protection for Android devices.