Juniper Networks will build a mobile security platform for AT&T to protect its wireless customers from mobile malware and from the negative consequences of having their devices lost or stolen.
AT&T customers will soon be able to take advantage of a
mobile security platform designed to protect the data on their devices in case
it ever gets lost or stolen, as well as from malware threats.
AT&T has partnered with Juniper Networks to help
customers protect their mobile devices against security threats, the
telecommunications company said Aug. 11. The new mobile security platform will
be available for government and enterprise customers later this year, with a
version for consumers expected in 2012, the company said. Pricing information
was not yet available.
The AT&T Mobile Security application will be based on
Junos Pulse from Juniper Networks and will provide consumers and organizations
with antivirus and anti-malware software and application monitoring and control
tools, according to AT&T. Businesses will also be able to use the
application to maintain compliance and enforce security policies.
"Mobile security is the 'next frontier' for our
continued effort to mitigate cyber-threats and to help protect our customers'
information," said Ed Amoroso, chief security officer of AT&T.
As users increasingly rely on their mobile devices to
purchase something, take care of online banking and surf the Web, the
opportunity for cyber-attacks are also increasing. Android handset users are
2.5 times more likely to be affected by malware today than they were six months
ago, Lookout Mobile Security found in its new 2011
report released earlier this month. The report also estimated
that three out of 10 Android owners are likely to encounter a Web-based threat
on their device each year.
Android is not the only platform being targeted, as there is
a mobile variant of the Zeus banking Trojan that goes after BlackBerry and
Windows-based smartphones as well. iPhone users are just as vulnerable to
social engineering tricks that redirect them to malicious scam Web portals as
Mobile malware isn't the only threat facing users,
considering that 36 percent of consumers either lost or had their phones
stolen, according to a recent Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec.
Only four percent of smartphones and tablets in use are
currently protected by third-party software from malware and other Web threats,
according to Juniper Research.
The Juniper partnership is in line with the mobile security
service John Stankey, the head of AT&T 's enterprise business
division, hinted about in May. Stankey had discussed rolling out an AT&T
wireless security service for consumers
in 2012 as part of the company's mobile
security strategy to manage and protect smartphones and customer information.
However, just having the stable architecture from Juniper
would not be enough for mobile security, as there needs to be a strong research
and development component to keep up with the evolving threats, Amoroso said.
"If you're playing football and you line up the same defense
every play for every season, someone is going to catch on" and it will be a lot
less effective, said Amoroso, noting the company had recently opened a R&D
facility in New York City.
AT&T is not the only wireless carrier worried about its
mobile users. Sprint said Aug. 10 that it will provide customers with
"easy access" to McAfee Mobile Security and McAfee Family Protection
Android Edition apps to protect the data stored on their Android phones.
McAfee Mobile Security can track a lost or stolen device,
back up important data, remotely lock and wipe the device in case it is lost, and
provides anti-malware software to detect threats. Sprint announced a similar
partnership with Lookout for the Lookout
Mobile Security app for Android
phones earlier this year. Sprint customers
would find these apps under the "Sprint" tab in the Android Market and from the
Verizon also promotes the Lookout app to its Verizon