"The tremendous growth in adoption of converged mobile devices occurring among business professionals will inevitably bring with it a rise in the number of attacks and in the sophistication of viruses and other malware specifically targeting these devices," said Sean Ryan, research analyst at IDC, in a statement.
To address the growing concern, Sybase iAnywhere announced Monday it has expanded its mobile security portfolio to include handheld antivirus and firewall capabilities.
There are already more than 500 identified viruses that target business mobile phones, according to Terry Stepian, president of Sybase iAnywhere. That figure is expected to increase dramatically as smartphones proliferate, and these viruses could potentially lead to nightmare scenarios of corporate data theft or billing fiascos if a device gets a dialer Trojan.
The company's Afaria mobile security line already provides features like device authentication and data encryption, but the latest additions should help businesses stay ahead of the hackers, Stepian said.
The antivirus is the first mobile security product of its kind that utilizes heuristic technology to analyze incoming files based on their behavior, the company said. This technology is widely used in desktop products to discover viruses and malware.
The antivirus also features automatic signature file updates to get up to date protection, and it has real-time scanning of any file the mobile phone receives.
Afaria's firewall manager lets IT administrators filter inbound and outbound communication on the device by using black lists and white lists. Additionally, administrators can minimize mobile spam by establishing customized black lists to block SMS, MMS, or incoming calls. The end user can also add to the blacklist with the push of a button, Stepian said.
These products have been specifically developed for mobile devices, with the express goal of not draining computing power or battery life, according to Stepian.
The mobile security suite supports a broad range of mobile operating systems including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and more. The new Afaria antivirus and firewall protection capabilities will be available by July 1.