Symantec pushes security to Android, iPhone

Symantec pushes security to Android, iPhone

Summary: A new initiative called Norton Everywhere will aim at securing smartphones and other non-PC connected devices, as well as DNS-based web filtering

TOPICS: Security

Symantec has introduced an initiative called Norton Everywhere, designed to expand the company's security technology to safeguard smartphones, handle DNS-based web filtering and even protect connected devices such as digital picture frames.

The initial products, announced on Thursday, include a beta version of security software for Android and Apple smartphones and a beta of Norton DNS.

The upcoming Norton Everywhere products will draw on Symantec's own consumer security, backup and infrastructure technologies, as well as those of partners such as smartphone manufacturer HTC, Symantec said in its announcement. The products will be aimed at consumers as well as businesses.

Norton Smartphone Security Beta for Android, set for availability in June, will give Android users the ability to remotely lock or wipe their device via text message in the event of its loss or theft. The product will also include call blocking and protection from malicious code.

The beta of Norton Connect, also set to launch in June, will allow mobile devices including the iPhone, the iPad and Android handsets to access files archived via Norton Online Backup or Norton 360. The software will be available for download from the Android Market or iPhone App Store, Symantec said. The company on Thursday launched a smartphone portal at offering news, videos and downloads.

Symantec said it is working with HTC on the development and testing of its Android and Windows Mobile software.

Norton DNS will protect users from phishing, malicious code and spyware by routing all traffic through Symantec's own DNS servers and verifying each URL the user accesses. An administrator or home user can add the service to devices by changing the DNS settings on a router or installing an application on the device. The approach is similar to that used by custom DNS services such as Open DNS or Google Public DNS.

Symantec will also offer Norton DNS for Android devices via an application on the Android Market in June.

Other upcoming Norton Everywhere products will target security for non-PC internet connected media devices such as Blu-ray players, televisions and media streamers, home security systems, digital cameras and picture frames.

The connected device products, to be developed in partnership with a startup called Mocana, will aim at securing the way a device's firmware, operating system and applications receive updates, among other areas. The company did not announce specific products and services for connected media devices.

Topic: Security

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  • Security vendors have been salivating over the notion of generating additional revenue, and lots of it, from smartphone security software/services for many years now. I recall visiting the F-Secure 'mobile security research lab' in Helsinki, which turned out to be a shielded room the size of your average garden shed, when the very first mobile security software was being touted.

    While there is, of course, a mobile security threat and as smartphones get ever smarter and become less like phones and more like miniature netbooks the threat will inevitably increase, the harsh truth is that I've got by perfectly well without the need to secure my smartphones with anything much more than a little bit of common sense. So while I have installed and tested various security solutions, my current iPhone 3GS has nothing to protect me from the bad guys expect my own due diligence. Amazingly, I actually feel quite comfortable with that.
    • iPhone security Apps

      Since this post was 2010, is the an update on the need for security software for the iPhone5? Or is the software, like Norton's not really needed?