Sprint Beefs Up Mobile Workforce Security

Sprint Mobile Security is meant to protect data in a number of ways, ranging from encrypting files to remotely locking stolen devices.
Looking ahead to the coming surge of IT data that is expected to flow over handheld and laptop wireless devices, Sprint on Tuesday launched its end-to-end secure Sprint Mobile Security (SMS) solution.

The comprehensive mobile security management solution protects data in a number of ways ranging from encrypting files to remotely locking stolen devices.

"With high-speed 3G, it's very easy to send a lot of data," said Stephanie Burnham, Sprint group manager, product marketing, in an interview "We're finding that CIOs often don't have a good security plan in place."

By requiring password policies across all devices, SMS protects data via the requirement of fixed, PIN or color-coded credentials. Encryption schemes AES and 3DES can be utilized to safeguard individual files, or even an entire device or memory card. Taken together, the procedures enable mobile VPN users to safely and securely connect to their corporate intranets.

SMS is based on software supplied by Mobile Armor LLC of St. Louis, which developed a suite of enterprise mobile data security products. Sprint said it has taken Mobile Armor source code and modified it for its particular needs.

Burnham said SMS currently operates on most popular software platforms and is positioned to add new platforms as they gain traction in the marketplace. For instance, she noted that hardware and software platforms currently supported include Palm OS, Pocket PC, Windows Mobile 5.0 as well as the handheld PPC 6700.

SMS, which Sprint said has been successfully tested by different customers, protects mobile devices from common unwanted intrusions like viruses, worms and Trojans as well as blocking denial of service attacks. Provisions are included in the solution to enable enterprise IT managers to implement various programs to meet compliance programs like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPPA.

A feature called "kill pill" enables users to lock a lost or stolen device by transmitting a signal wirelessly. Once recovered, the device can be restored back to its factory setting. "Every other day it seems we hear there's been another laptop stolen," said Burnham. "This is a solution that would help resolve that issue."

Sprint did not release specifics on SMS pricing, but Burnham said its "price point is low" enough to make it attractive for IT managers. She expects initial users to come from the financial community, and from government agencies including defense organizations.

The program also features automatic remediation " the automatic updating of non-compliant information without user intervention.

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