Network Associates unveils wireless strategy

ITworld.com –

Network security vendor Network Associates Inc. (NAI) will integrate its McAfee security technology with products made by wireless hardware and software providers, the company announced Wednesday.

The move is intended to broaden NAI's presence in the developing wireless technology market by developing close relationships with mobile platform providers, device manufacturers and wireless carriers, while also working with enterprises to secure wireless environments.

As a first step in the initiative, NAI announced partnerships with Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), as well as mobile handset operating system maker Symbian Ltd.

NAI will provide virus protection for TI's OMAP platform for 2.5G and 3G wireless handsets and PDAs (personal digital assistants), complementing the on-chip, hardware-based security offered by OMAP. NAI will develop software to work with the Symbian operating system as a member of that company's Platinum Partner Program.

More wireless partnerships and announcements, as NAI looks to develop a set of software and services that address "every point of entry" in wireless environments, the company said.

Wireless environments and devices are of increasing interest to network security providers, as more workers rely on PDAs, wireless pagers, cell phones and wireless Ethernet devices to do their jobs.

At the same time, the rapid adoption of wireless technologies at corporations -- often in an unsupervised, ad-hoc fashion -- has raised alarms among network administrators about the threats of viruses and worms spread through such devices.

Besides NAI, a number of antivirus and security vendors already provide antivirus and other security software for wireless devices.

Those competitors include Trend Micro Inc., which makes a version of its PC-cillin product for wireless devices and F-Secure Corp., which markets a number of products for Pocket PCs and Nokia Corp. wireless handsets running the Symbian operating system such as F-Secure SSH, Anti-Virus and FileCrypto.

NAI also said it will draw on past experience protecting mobile devices and wireless networks with the Sniffer Mobile and Sniffer Wireless products in making this latest wireless initiative work.

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