Symantec launches new mobile security app

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Symantec has launched a new mobile app that provides a console for monitoring and protecting network security, including personally owned mobile devices accessing the network.

The Symantec Protection Center Mobile provides a dashboard that translates threat intelligence, security incidents and control gaps into information for nontechnical management.

Enterprises are being challenged more and more by malware and vulnerabilities. According to Symantec data, there has been a 41 percent increase in new malware variants and close to 5,000 new vulnerabilities were identified last year.

At the same time, security professionals have expressed frustration at not being able to get the attention of senior executives about security threats. According to an Information Risk Executive Council survey cited by Symantec, only one in eight chief information security officers believes they influence business decisions.

To help CISOs and other IT security professionals get the attention of senior executives without technical backgrounds, Symantec is launching this security dashboard for mobile devices.

"Most enterprises I talk to today are really struggling to prioritize this huge list of security issues that they get from all of the different tools they are using in their environment," David Dorosin, director of product marketing at Symantec, told FierceMobileIT.

Underlying the mobile app dashboard is a data collection and analytics platform called Symantec Protection Center Enterprise.

"The platform is able to collect data from Symantec and non-Symantec sources, put that information into a central data repository, calculate key security metrics for the organization, assess business impact, and provide a workflow engine that allows you to make things happen," Dorosin explained.

"SPC Mobile draws from the platform and giving executives a simple, high-level view of security in their organization to allow them to better manage risk from the executive level," he added.

In addition to the new mobile app, Symantec offers products specifically targeted at enterprises confronting BYOD security challenges, noted Vizay Kotikalapudi, group manager with Symantec's enterprise mobility group.

Symantec offers BYOD security products in five areas: user and application access, applications and data protection, device management, threat protection, and file sharing.

"Depending on what kind of security concerns the enterprise has, what use cases they want to address, and what users they want to target, they would select a combination of these five types of products," Kotikalapudi said.

Kotikalapudi noted that there is a shift taking place in the enterprise from securing devices to securing applications and data. "It is not about devices, it is about applications and data ... We are seeing feedback from customers who say, 'We don't want to be in the business of managing devices, we want to manage applications and data'," he said.

In an recent special report, FierceMobileIT focused on the security challenges of BYOD. Chenxi Wang, an analyst with Forrester, who was interviewed for the article, identified an enterprise trend, which she called a stateless mobile architecture.

"A stateless architecture is not about relying on device-or infrastructure-level controls, but having the controls embedded in applications and data. Essentially, you don't care where the infrastructure or device is. Security will be there wherever the relevant data and applications are," Wang explained.

This trend toward security applications and data, rather than devices, is likely to continue, as BYOD continues to pose complex security challenges from multiple devices employed for both corporate and personal use.

For more:
- see the Symantec Protection Center web page

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