Samsung to equip Android phones with enterprise antivirus software

As part of the Knox security suite, Samsung has added an enterprise security package for Android-based smartphones.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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.

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