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Rollout: Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0

The Upshot

Symantec aims to protect Windows Mobile devices with a security client that offers antivirus, firewall, intrusion detection and data protection. It also offers NAC capability and policy controls to lock down hardware settings and disable features such as Bluetooth and a camera.
Mobile malware doesn't represent a significant threat at this time, particularly for the Windows Mobile platform. However, mobile malware does exist in the wild, and F-Secure, McAfee and Trend Micro offer security software for mobile platforms. Symantec's 5.0 product adds features these vendors don't yet offer.
Symantec delivers a host of new security features for Windows Mobile devices. However, its management capabilities need work, and the lack of remediation in its NAC option is a significant hole. Also, the current lack of a serious mobile threats means IT must carefully weigh the risk posed by mobile malware against the expense of the solution

Symantec Mobile Security Suite 5.0

These are interesting times for mobile device security. The current threat level from mobile malware is so miniscule--only a handful of malicious programs target Windows Mobile--that IT administrators couldn't be faulted for ignoring the problem.

However, the best time to fix a hole in the roof is before it rains. Enterprises that want to get ahead--way ahead--of the mobile device threat have many choices. F-Secure, McAfee and Trend Micro all offer software to protect mobile devices from infection.

Now Symantec is raising the bar with the introduction of its Mobile Security Suite 5.0. In addition to antivirus and firewall features, Symantec has added data protection, anti-SMS spam and some of the best control over device hardware we've seen. When Symantec's VPN client is thrown in, admins get NAC (network access control) features to ensure endpoint compliance.

However, the overall management features need work, and the NAC capabilities aren't well integrated. So, do you actually need this software? If you think you do, Symantec has made a positive step toward providing more advanced security features for mobile users.

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