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IBM pushes out managed phone security service

IBM has unveiled a managed service for locking down and monitoring employees' smartphones.The service, called IBM Hosted Mobile Device Security Management, was announced on Friday.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

IBM has unveiled a managed service for locking down and monitoring employees' smartphones.

The service, called IBM Hosted Mobile Device Security Management, was announced on Friday. IBM said it differed from the many other device management services in that it was "focused on the protection of the device, regardless of the business applications used by employees today or in the future".

"The [bring-your-own-device-to-work] trend creates real opportunity for employees to become more productive, but it also carries risk unless it is managed properly," IBM security services chief Marisa Viveros said in a statement. "The new service from IBM helps organisations protect their enterprise data while allowing employees to have the flexibility needed for today's work environment."

IBM's new hosted service lets administrators configure employee devices to make sure they comply with corporate security policies, while also keeping an eye on their usage to ensure compliance. The service can secure data and help find lost or stolen devices.

Along with its anti-malware capabilities, the Hosted Mobile Device Security Management can also detect and remove malicious and unapproved apps. The UK's Get Safe Online campaign launched a major push last week to warn consumers about the proliferation of faked, malicious apps that can run up big premium-rate text message bills.

IBM is of course selling its own hosted service, but is also working with third parties to see the technology rolled into other products.

The company said in its statement that it was working with Juniper Networks to work "the underlying protection and device management technology" into Juniper's Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite, which targets the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms.

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