Samsung to equip Android phones with enterprise antivirus software

Samsung to equip Android phones with enterprise antivirus software

Summary: As part of the Knox security suite, Samsung has added an enterprise security package for Android-based smartphones.

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 Stephen Shankland /CNET
Credit: Stephen Shankland /CNET

While Lookout is already a strong player in the Android antivirus application market, the company will receive a boost this week thanks to Samsung bundling the software within its enterprise-based Knox security suite for Android smartphones.

Originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, Lookout officially announced the service bundle on Wednesday. In a press release, the mobile security firm said that a stand-alone mobile security offering for business is due for release later this year, and Samsung will be bundling Lookout products within its Knox security suite for new Android models.

Dr. Injong Rhee, Senior Vice President of Knox Business Group at Samsung Electronics said:

"We're excited to partner with Lookout to bring an additional level of security to Samsung Knox. Lookout is the leader in mobile threat protection, and through attachment scanning and safe browsing they are uniquely equipped to address business mobile security and the evolving challenges in the BYOD movement."

Samsung's Knox security suite is an Android-based platform which is designed to enhance the security of the open-source platform. Apple's iOS operating system and Samsung's Knox were recently approved by the U.S. Department of Defense for use on its networks, and both can provide additional layers of security -- including cloud-based threat scanning -- for corporate and sensitive networks.

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Currently, over 40 million people use Lookout products. Lookout's flagship product, Lookout Mobile Security is currently available for Android, iOS and Kindle. While Lookout offers a free and a premium version of its antivirus software, under the terms of the partnership, the higher-tier service will be bundled with Knox.

"Samsung is a market leader in mobile devices for business, and we’re excited to work together to bring Lookout to Knox," said John Hering, CEO of Lookout. "Protection against mobile threats for devices in the workplace is critical, and we’re excited to announce we’re expanding to address the unique needs of businesses."

Not everyone believes that Android security is all that important. Speaking to the Journal, Android's lead security engineer Adrian Ludwig said:

"There's not really a significant amount of risk that users are being exposed to. It's also, frankly, nothing like the risks they accept in their day-to-day lives."

Despite this, when businesses are readily adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes that introduce multiple platforms to corporate networks, knowing that software is helping defend a device against malware -- and stop users from accidentally downloading malicious files -- can only be a bonus.

A report released last month by Trend Micro suggested that Android-based malware infection rates have jumped 40 percent in the past several months.

Topics: Security, Android, Mobility, Samsung

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28 comments
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  • AntiVirus

    If your phones need Anti-Virus, you're doing it wrong.
    Dreyer Smit
    • Indeed.

      I'm not sure why of all the "Mobile devices" out there, Android seems to have a majority of problems. Something like 80-90% of all spyware and malware is written for Android.

      Maybe Google should take steps to resolve security issues. Not everyone is able to download anti-virus patches on a daily basis. Also, why should I upgrade my data plan to access updates for an insecure platform..?

      I hope Android gets out of BETA release soon. Perpetual BETA is more expensive and annoying.
      donald duck 313
      • Maybe Google should take steps to resolve security issues.

        If you did some reading you would know they are.
        At the last I/O they detailed the plan to separate non-essential components/API's from the core OS so that they can send out updates without waiting for OEM's/carrier's to produce the updates.

        But then I guess you wouldn't be able to be cool and pretend android is in BETA. Yeah, it's the Siri of the OS world.
        Little Old Man
      • Oh really?

        "Something like 80-90% of all spyware and malware is written for Android. "

        Can you provide the source of that statistic, please? Because "all spyware and malware" would necessarily include malware for all versions of the Windows platform too, which makes your claim suspect.

        Secondly, it doesn't matter which platform it's "written for" if it is never able to infect anything. And you haven't provided any statistics (with sources, naturally) for infection.

        Thirdly, given that mobile malware seems to be "Trojan" in nature, how else would you suggest handling malicious programs which the user has been deceived into installing?
        Zogg
        • Google it

          Articles seem to come out fairly often citing similar numbers. You should be able to Google this fairly easily.
          dhmccoy
          • Which in itself proves absolutely nothing.

            There are people here who say the same things over and over again too. And they're not correct either!
            Zogg
        • Since you asked.

          According to the Feds, Android accounts for 79% of malware, http://info.publicintelligence.net/DHS-FBI-AndroidThreats.pdf, but practically all the rest is for Symbian. So, I'm thinking Donald is a lot closer to being right than wrong.
          matthew_maurice
          • That document is only talking about malware for mobile OSs.

            That's not "79% of malware".

            And it still doesn't matter how many "enemies" are waiting outside the gates if they can't do anything unless the user allows them in.
            Zogg
      • Medical anthropologist opinion about Android security...

        Very funny ))))) It looks like somebody like to keep people scary - it easy to control them and a good source of money... Please journalist who writes this article or anybody can explain me how I can get spyware or malware from Google app store, or maybe from YouTube?
        Dinarchik
  • Smartphones becoming more complex

    If you think it's ridiculous for a smartphone to have anti-virus software, you are not realizing the fact that smartphones are highly integrated to this world. It isn't just a "smart" phone with a few applications to toy around - it's a personal computer.
    wjdzm
  • Apple had no AV and what happen.....?

    I guess having a lock on your home door is dumb as well.
    Randalllind
  • It's beyond funny how Android has become Windows

    Samsung, the top Android smartphone manufacturer, believes that anti-virus software is necessary for its smartphones in the enterprise. Whether those smartphones are provided by the enterprise or are BYOD.

    What's a mere small business or consumer to think? Is it safe to use an Android-based devices for online banking, trading, etc.?

    Be smart with your Android smartphone:

    o don't enable the installation of apps from unknown sources
    o research apps before downloading and installing them from Google Play
    o install and use Mozilla's Firefox browser with the NoScript add-on to whitelist your frequently-visited, legitimate web sites
    o don't install any extensions for the Chrome browser as malicious extensions have found their way into Google's store
    o create a profile with restricted privileges for day-to-day smartphone use

    I, personally, don't believe that anti-virus software is necessary on Android-based mobile devices if one follows these simple steps.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • I agree

      However saying small businesses and consumers will think twice about using them for financials, well that would mean no one uses MS products for financials and that clearly doesn't hold true.
      Little Old Man
  • Lag

    Yay, something else to make an Android phone even more laggy, buggy and a pain to use.
    NickA55
  • Wrong

    I won't use Android for the same reason I avoid using Windows. The peace of mind of not having to constantly worry about someone stealing my information is huge to me. I have so much important information on my phone. Android? No thank you.
    dolph0291
    • I think you're missing something...

      If you are that concerned about your information - don't store it on a phone! Yes even apple has been guilty of allowing apps to steal data - all devices are hackable, don't fool yourself into thinking that only android has problems so by not using it you are safe. It sounds simple but if your data isn't out there it can't be stolen.
      dodonfred
    • It's fine

      as long as you wear your tinfoil hat you don't have a problem.
      You think your phone is the weak point? Yeah, okay then.
      Little Old Man
  • android is not

    and should never be an enterprise phone, it is a weakly coded piece of software designed to give all your data to google.
    hoppmang
  • Samsung to equip Android phones with enterprise antivirus software

    And I was told linux doesn't need antivirus software. The linux people finally admit their os is flawed.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Unsupervised Child

      ……..
      daikon