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PC security software makers are adapting to blistering tablet adoption rates and the growing bring your own device (BYOD) acceptance among businesses by expanding into mobile device management (MDM).
Kaspersky Lab is the latest to target smartphones and tablets with the launch of a new endpoint security product meant not only to protect desktop PCs and laptops against malware and other threats, but also bring mobile device management into the fold. The company's Endpoint Security for Business: Select offers IT administrators endpoint security and systems management along with MDM capabilities.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business: Select supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian. Mobile management and security features include a private application portal of company-approved apps and over the air provisioning with SMS and mobile email support.
Other features include strong password policy enforcement and device root and jailbreak detection. Security-conscious organizations can stymie shutterbugs by disabling cameras.
With its latest MDM-enabled offering, Kaspersky is banking that businesses will overlook or outright ditch point products and settle on a software platform that supplies centralized security and device management over PCs, smartphones and tablets.
"Mobile Device Management, Systems/Patch Management, Data Encryption and more—these new tools get cobbled together with existing anti-malware technologies, leaving IT Administrators with a network that’s more complex to manage, but not necessarily more secure," said the company in statement. Kaspersky's answer is to unify the management of mobile devices, physical and virtual systems, anti-malware, encryption and policy enforcement into one console.
It's a tactic that builds on Kaspersky's pursuit of enterprise-sized security budgets, according to IDC research vice president Charles Kolodgy.
"Last year's overhaul of the company's Endpoint Security offerings signaled that Kaspersky Lab was ready to compete for deals of all sizes. By offering critical capabilities like data encryption, mobile protection, and full system security management, Kaspersky Lab is poised to be a contender in almost all purchase considerations," said Kolodgy in prepared remarks.
Kaspersky isn't the first security software provider to go down this path.
Last month, Sophos unveiled EndUser Protection, a product that blends PC anti-malware protection with MDM. It's the company's stance that IT administrators are better off accepting the fact that devices like Apple's iPad and Samsung's "Galaxy" of Android smartphone and tablet offerings are here to stay.
"Our value proposition to customers and partners is complete security without complexity. And as BYOD moves more to the forefront of complete security, Sophos EndUser Protection allows more IT professionals to embrace BYOD rather than try to reverse it," said Sophos in a company statement.