Avast, Qualcomm tag team to protect devices at the kernel level

The companies are working at the hardware level to protect mobile devices from malware and zero-day threats.


Avast and Qualcomm have joined forces to develop kernel security solutions for the next generation of mobile devices.

The antivirus provider and US chip maker announced the new partnership on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, Avast's development of a kernel-level mobile security system will be deployed through Qualcomm's Snapdragon Smart Protection system to recognize and block malicious threats from hijacking a mobile device.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon Smart Protection system uses machine learning technology to analyze compiled data on Internet-based threats, allowing the platform to recognize and differentiate between clean and malicious software applications -- a benefit in today's app-centric mobile realm.

Mobile-based malware is far from commonplace in comparison to code tailored for PCs, personal systems and enterprise networks, but this is not likely to remain the case. Just as Mac-based malware evolved despite an emphasis on breaking Microsoft Windows operating systems, smartphones and tablets which store and save valuable data have also become lucrative targets.

Avast says that while consumers will benefit from improved protection against threats, manufacturers and mobile operators will also enjoy reduced risk relating to data leaks and malware infections.

Vince Steckler, chief executive officer of Avast commented:

"Avast is pleased to work together with Qualcomm Technologies to provide hardware-based security that is integrated into the hardware and firmware of Snapdragon processors.

With threats increasing every day, OEMs and mobile operators need to protect their users in real-time. Snapdragon Smart Protect will provide hardware-based security at the processor level, which is designed to help improve consumer safety from rogue applications, zero day attacks, and ransomware."

Snapdragon Smart Protect is expected to be available for consumer devices in 2016, alongside the launch of the Snapdragon 820 processor.

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