Kaspersky Lab Extends Mobile Security to Android, BlackBerry Operating Systems

Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab is expanding its protection services to BlackBerry and Android smartphones to safeguard against malware as well as risks associated with lost or stolen devices and is also beefing up security tools for Symbian and Windows Mobile handsets.

The new version of Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 gives Android and BlackBerry users the ability to track their device and remotely secure their data. These data protection tools, which are available for BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, include SMS Find, remote block and delete, SIM Watch and mobile content filtering.

Smartphone security, mobile device management for fragmented mobile IT landscape

Kaspersky Lab's extended reach to offer mobile security for Android and BlackBerry devices mirrors the trend in mobile management software, in which vendors are rolling out new tools and services for the provisioning and supervision of multiple mobile operating systems. The goal is to help mobile IT streamline the task of overseeing both corporate issued and personally-owned mobile devices -- many running different mobile OSes -- in the enterprise.

Part of that challenge is the loss or theft of smartphones. If a mobile device is lost or stolen, Kaspersky's SMS Find feature can view the smartphone’s real-time GPS location displayed on Google Maps. Then via a link, the location is sent automatically to a pre-determined email address chosen by the phone’s owner.

Also, using Mobile Security 9, users can remotely block communications to and from a missing device, and can lock-down a missing smartphone to prevent anyone from seeing private information. Additionally, users can also remotely delete all data from the smartphone, protecting contacts or sensitive information from unauthorized use.

With SIM Watch, users are protected if a thief attempts to bypass GPS tracking and data-deletion programs by replacing the device’s SIM card. Kaspersky Mobile Security 9’s SIM Watch will send the device’s new telephone number to the rightful owner’s pre-determined email address. If the SIM card on a stolen smartphone is switched for a different card, the owner will still have the ability to delete sensitive data, and can provide the phone’s new number to wireless service providers, mobile management and law enforcement agencies that can track and recover the stolen device.

Also new to the Android and BlackBerry platforms, Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 can be used to control incoming and outgoing content, allowing users to block spam text messages and phone calls from unwanted numbers.

Anti-virus mobile security for Android smartphones

Android smartphones running Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 will be equipped with an anti-virus scanner to protect against known types of mobile malware, preventing malicious programmers from hampering the phone’s functionality or capturing mobile data, according to the company.

Android smartphones also benefit from Kaspersky Mobile Security 9’s privacy protection features, which allow users to keep certain contacts and all communication with those select contacts -- including calls and SMS texts sent and received -- hidden from unauthorized viewers.

For instance, while in Kaspersky’s Privacy Protection mode, selected contacts will not appear in the phone’s address book, the phone will not ring if one of the selected contacts call, and there will be no notification if they send an SMS message. Once the user enters a code to disable Privacy Protection, all missed notifications will then appear. The goal is to ensure that sensitive communications stay private while on-the-job or in other public settings.

Privacy Protection can also be used as a filter during times when users don’t wish to be interrupted. For example, instead of turning the phone off, a user can place all contacts except for family members into Privacy Protection mode. This prevents unnecessary interruptions during an important business meeting, but ensures the user can still be reached in an emergency.

Security for Windows Mobile and Symbian smartphones

Data encryption technology is also available for Windows Mobile and Symbian smartphones equipped with Kaspersky Mobile Security 9. Users can now protect multiple folders and documents with password-protected encryption. If the smartphone is stolen or simply left unattended, this data cannot be viewed, distributed or deleted without the encryption password.

Pricing and availability

The new version of Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 is a subscription-based offering available now for purchase through the Kaspersky online store for $29.95 per license, renewable annually. The software is compatible with all smartphones using the following mobile operating systems: Symbian OS, versions 9.1 through 9.4 or higher; Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0, 6.1 or 6.5; BlackBerry 4.5 to 6.0; and Android 1.6 to 2.2.


Android, mobile, Blackberry, smartphone security, mobile security