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SmithMicro Discusses the Future of Mobile Protection


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August 11, 2011

SmithMicro Discusses the Future of Mobile Protection

By Chris DiMarco, TMCnet Managing Editor

Your smartphone goes everywhere with you, and probably contains more personal information than you’d like it to. But there’s a big difference between a phone thief having access to your Facebook (News - Alert) account and the multi-million dollar contract you’ve been working on for the past year. In the BYOD environment this scenario is of increasing concern to businesses.

This rapid consumerization of smartphones has left companies unprepared to cope with the dozens of endpoints that contain data sensitive to operation. The proliferation of tablet devices compounds this problem, multiplying the number of devices each staff member uses to log in. This is an issue that Smith Micro (News - Alert) is pursuing, putting their software development strategy all in on this growing issue.

The company provides a unified approached to enterprise mobility, outfitting IT professionals with the tools they need to enforce policies essential to the privacy and security of any operation. Douglas Louie, Senior Director, Product Marketing at Smith Micro says, “the Mobility Command Center helps IT manage and control enterprise devices. Obviously we can have it locate, lock and wipe phones, but it can also add provisioning for access to certain areas of a company network or enforce polices that will prevent the user from say transferring information via unsecure methods.”

Today, a user can be on a home WiFi (News - Alert) in the morning, walk out the front door and catch a 3G or 4G signal, use a public WAN on the train to work, before finally getting on a secured network in the office, smartphones and tablets can be exposed to a number of unique threats. The development of malicious attacks is so prolific that to focus in on any one individual method is an exercise in futility. Smith Micro’s approach institutes fail-safes that keep the device protected at every turn.

In addition to developing software platforms, Smith Micro has also spearheaded an effort to bring API standards to the device security that would dramatically reduce development time. Secure On-Device API, or SODA, is a global solution for device communication that provides a consistent interface across all mobile broadband devices, form factors, hardware/software manufacturers, chipset suppliers, and operating systems. The result is a simplification in the development process and sturdier security architecture. “There are 200 combinations of connection, operating system etc. that can make it very difficult for say a Wi-Fi puck or dongle to be released. SODA would reduce those variations to around 10 variables.” Louie said.

We’re at a pivotal point in the industry. As we near the line where mobile devices are as powerful as the supercomputers of the 1980’s, the possibilities of convergence need to be met equally with expectations of protection. SODA might be named after a soft drink, but the security it enables is anything but soft.

Chris DiMarco is a Managing Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page. Follow him on Twitter (News - Alert) @cpdimarco.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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