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Qualcomm and Verizon boost Android security

Chip giant partners with Kaspersky to preinstall antivirus tools, while Verizon and VMware support secure business profile


Published: 15 May, 2013

READ MORE: Qualcomm | Verizon Wireless | Security | Android

Android still suffers in the enterprise sector because of real or perceived security weaknesses. This week sees two efforts to improve its image - Qualcomm has signed a deal with security specialist Kapersky, while Verizon has announced an Android platform with segregated business and personal profiles.

In the Qualcomm announcement, Kaspersky has agreed to preload its security software on Android devices running the chip major's Snapdragon processor, in the same way that antivirus tools are often pre-installed on PCs. The new partners will offer OEMs "special terms" if they incorporate the $15 mobile security application, which will be free to end users for a period of time, after which they will be asked to upgrade to a paid-for product.

The arrangement covers the Russian firm's Mobile Security and Tablet Security apps, which sell for $15 and $20 respectively at retail. It could significantly extend Kaspersky's reach beyond its existing pact with Lenovo, to other Qualcomm partners.

"In Kaspersky Lab, we have a solid number of global companies we work with, and Qualcomm Technologies will be one of the most important among them. We are looking forward to providing solutions to a wide range of device manufacturers, who are designing and/or building Snapdragon enabled mobile devices or tablets running on Android," said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky, in a statement.

It is likely that the software will not merely be loaded as an app, but integrated at a lower level of the operating system. Intel has been working to differentiate Atom in the mobile market by integrating software capabilities, many acquired with McAfee.

Meanwhile, Verizon has teamed up with VMware to separate work and life profiles on Android devices, promising tight security for the former. The operator's enterprise division, which is looking to enhance its strategic role in corporations, will use VMware's Horizon Mobile software as part of wider efforts to make Android more business friendly.

The companies have unveiled a 'dual persona solution' that puts corporate data and access behind a wall on the device, creating a zone which is under the control of the enterprise IT department. The virtualization software will initially be offered on the LG Intuition and Motorola RAZR M smartphones and will cost $125 per user for a perpetual licence.

BlackBerry made dual personas a highlight of irs recent smartphone family revamp, with its Balance technology, and Samsung has launched a similar capability for its Android Galaxy models, called Knox.

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