Symantec Launches Virus Protection for Handheld Devices

Symantec Corp., today announced the Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds line of consumer and enterprise solutions. These three products will protect Palm OS- and Microsoft Pocket PC-compatible devices against viruses, worms and other malicious code.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will provide both real-time and on-demand scanning. In addition, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will also introduce LiveUpdate Wireless. This new feature will enable users with a wireless Internet connection to download virus definitions and Symantec product updates directly to their device over the Web.

The Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds line of consumer and enterprise solutions will include: Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Annual Service Edition, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition, and Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition with Event and Configuration Manager. All three products are scheduled to be available for purchase in early September.

“As handheld devices are used in more homes and corporations, they make an increasingly attractive target platform for viruses and malicious code,” said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. “Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds protects these devices which, in turn, strengthens overall home and enterprise security.”

According to Gartner Dataquest, more than 20 million handheld computers have been sold during the past five years. Many of them are connecting with enterprise systems at work, while being used during off-hours to surf the public Internet and casually connect with other compatible devices. Yet, industry experts estimate that virus protection is on only one percent of these devices; the remaining 99 percent are unprotected. This places both enterprise environments and homes at risk.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will protect these handheld devices from viruses, worms, and other malicious threats. The product’s small footprint will fit unobtrusively in resource-constrained handheld devices and will also be easy to install. The software will be downloaded first on a desktop PC; application files for the Palm or Pocket PC will then be installed on the handheld device during the next synchronization.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will provide real-time scans through Auto-Protect, which will run continuously and unobtrusively in the background. Auto-Protect will scan for viruses when files are downloaded and when email attachments are received. It will also run when a malicious program tries to execute. Automatic scans, in turn, will run after synchronizations as well as after expansion cards are inserted into the handheld device. On-demand scans will run at the user’s discretion. Symantec’s antivirus micro-engine will ensure fast and efficient virus scans.

Support for LiveUpdate will help ensure that handheld users have up-to-date protection against new threats. LiveUpdate will automatically download virus definition updates to the desktop and then transfer the updates to the handheld during the next synchronization. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds will also include LiveUpdate Wireless, a new feature that will enable users to access device-specific virus definitions and product updates over a wireless connection.

Comprehensive logs will keep users updated on the status of their protection and on their antivirus product configuration. Users will be able to access a log of partial and full scans, found viruses, deleted and undeleted infected files, and a virus definition update history.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will include additional functionality for enterprise environments. Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds–Corporate Edition will feature a desktop interface that resembles Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition in order to provide users a familiar and easy-to-use environment.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will support additional scans. Users will be able to schedule scans to run daily, weekly, monthly, or on a specified date or to schedule scans in conjunction with desktop synchronizations. In addition, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will enable users who attach more than one handheld device to their PC to monitor those devices from the desktop.

To streamline the distribution of virus definition updates, virus definition packages for Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will be seamlessly integrated with those of Symantec’s corporate desktop antivirus solutions. Desktops with Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition, in turn, will automatically pass only relevant virus definitions to the handheld device upon synchronization. By integrating with existing enterprise infrastructures, Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will make it easier for organizations to maintain virus protection across all devices in the corporation.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition will also ease management by providing a centralized view of virus protection information. Comprehensive event reporting on virus activity, scan history, and other event history will be collected, transferred during synchronization, and reported through the history panel on the desktop.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition with Event and Configuration Manager

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition with Event and Configuration Manager will feature additional functionality for centralized logging, alerting, and reporting. With this product, the IT staff will be able to graphically view the status of all handhelds, make configuration changes, and enforce policies — all from a centralized console.

Status, configuration, and event information about the handheld environment will be collected at the desktop and reported to the management console. From there, it will be consolidated and presented to administrators. Administrators at the console will also be able to push configuration changes to all handhelds in the enterprise, regardless of location.

With centralized management, administrators will be able to set and lock certain functions on the handheld device. This feature will help IT administrators establish standard handheld configurations, enforce enterprise security policies, and comply with privacy and security regulations.

Pricing/Availability

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Annual Service Edition is available for pre-order at Symantec’s online store at www.symantecstore.com. The product is scheduled to be available for purchase from retail stores and online retailers in early September. The Annual Service Edition product will be offered as an annual, renewable subscription service to home users at an estimated retail price of US$39.95. This service will provide regular product updates as well as virus definition updates. When the annual subscription period ends and virus protection terminates, users will be able to renew their subscription to the service for the current renewal price of US$19.95.

Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition and Symantec AntiVirus for Handhelds — Corporate Edition with Event and Configuration Manager is scheduled to be available at the end of August as a license to enterprise customers. To obtain licensing information or to locate a reseller, visit http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.com on the World Wide Web.


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