Optus offers mobile security for SMBs

The telco’s OfficeApps portal enables small and medium businesses to wipe passwords on any mobile device

Optus has launched OfficeApps Mobile Security for small and medium businesses (SMBs), enabling customers to wipe, lock or reset passwords on mobile devices.

Mobile Security aims to protect personal and business data stored on mobile devices, and protects such data with real-time anti-virus software.

The remote device wiping, locking or password resetting options are controlled via an OfficeApps portal or an authorised mobile phone.

If the mobile device covered by Mobile Security is lost or stolen, the remote locate function can locate the device through GPS with an SMS sent from a secondary mobile phone.

With around 500 different malware variants written for smartphones and tablets, Optus decided to offer mobile security to combat the growing threat to phone and tablet users.

The telco also cited research conducted by analyst firm, Jones Donald Strategy Partners, in May this year, which found 50 per cent of Australian SMBs used smartphones and nine per cent used tablets.

According to the research, 49 per cent of SMBs planned to buy smartphones while 29 per cent are considering purchasing tablets in the following 12 months.

Optus SMB managing director, Rohan Ganeson, said a virus on a mobile device, or even just a lost phone, could severely disrupt the day-to-day operations of a business.

"This security [portal] reassures SMBs that they have full control over who uses their mobile devices and more importantly, that their data is safe,” he said in a statement.

OfficeApps Mobile Security is available on a one-year contract for $5 per mobile device, with a two-month free trial period for users.

The service is supported by devices running Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile operating systems. An Optus spokesman said in a statement that support for the Apple iOS was not avaiable because application programming interfaces (APIs) need to be available to develop a mobile security application.

"As Apple does not currently allow access to security level features in their APIs, OfficeApps is unable to support iOS in implementing capabilities such as locking, wiping and resetting passwords on any device remotely," he said.

Got a security tip-off? Contact Hamish Barwick at hamish_barwick at idg.com.au

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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