How Qualcomm plans to make phones and tablets safe from malware

A new security approach built into the Snapdragon 820 chip next year will provide protection from zero-day and other malware attacks.

In 2016, you'll have one more way to fight against malware on a mobile device thanks to Qualcomm. The company announced its Smart Protect solution that will detect and protect against zero-day malware threats.


Smart Protect will be built in at the hardware level on the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm's next major mobile chip the company said on Monday.

The protection isn't just in the hardware though. Qualcomm is working with device makers and company's that provide software security:

"Snapdragon Smart Protect complements existing signature-based anti-malware solutions by analyzing and identifying new threats prior to new signature updates. OEMs and mobile anti-malware application providers can also use Snapdragon Smart Protect API's to perform valuable causal analysis, offering users and the mobile industry real-time information of identified threats."

Smart Protect will also be added to Qualcomm's Haven security suite, joining its SecureMSM, Snapdragon Sense ID 3D fingerprint technology, StudioAccess content protection and SafeSwitch technology.

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Since the latest flagship phones use Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors, don't expect to see Smart Protect available in devices this year.

Instead -- based on chip cycles -- look for the anti-malware feature next year in high-end phones and tablets.

We might see some devices with the 820 chip announced at January's Consumer Electronics Show. However, I wouldn't expect to see actual devices ship with the processor and protection until the second quarter of 2016.