SoftBank partners with Zimperium to offer mobile security solutions in Japan

The Japanese giant is partnering with US startup Zimperium to offer its mobile security application to Japanese iPhone users.

SoftBank has agreed to roll out San Francisco startup Zimperium's artificial intelligence (AI) security solution for mobile devices in Japan, starting November 15.

The companies said the number of unknown malware and cyber attack methods targeting personal data has increased along with internet usage on mobile devices, which reached a tipping point in October when it exceeded desktop computers.

SoftBank said it will continue to work with Zimperium -- which is backed by Warburg Pincus, Samsung, Telstra, and Sierra Ventures -- to offer mobile security to enterprise customers in the future.

At the ARM TechCon in October, SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son spoke of the importance of security as internet-connected devices grow exponentially. He believes that 1 trillion devices will be connected to the internet within 20 years and data will grow more than 2,400 times, from 1 extabyte to 2.3 zetabytes by 2035, with IoT eventually leading to The Singularity when machine intelligence exceeds the collective intelligence of humans.

"We can aggregate all sorts of analytics. This will give us intelligence. That will make us super smart. Security will be essential. Security becomes more important than doubling the clock cycle. Without security, this becomes so dangerous," Son said at the conference.

The acquisition of British chipmaker ARM Holdings for $31.4 billion underlines SoftBank's ambitions in the IoT space. Son revealed at ARM TechCon that he wants ARM to be more aggressive in its efforts to compete in the server chip business and develop more computing technology for cars.

He pointed out that cars already have 1,000 chips, but none of them are secure. As cars become connected and autonomous, they will be susceptible to life-threatening hacker attacks.

SoftBank published a financial report this week showing that profit in the July-September quarter totaled 528.6 billion yen ($5.1 billion) -- more than double the 258.6 billion yen in profit generated last year. The company attributed this growth to favourable exchange rates and healthy operations in Japan.

In September, SoftBank led a $9.4 million funding round with New York-based public cloud startup Packet. The companies had also formed a strategic partnership to bring Packet's bare metal server automation technology to Japan.

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