Kaspersky Mobile Security: Snake Oil to Cure Our Mobile Paranoia?
In the world of computer and Internet security, Kaspersky is relatively well-known for its vast user-base and extensive line of anti-virus products for home and small business users. Over the last several years, Kaspersky has produced a number of widely used security products for personal computers. One of their lesser-known products, however, has been aimed at an industry that is growing at exponential rates. You guessed it; the mobile industry. Kaspersky Mobile Security, as it is dubbed, has aimed at locking down Symbian and Windows Mobile OS devices; not only to protect the privacy of the end-user, but to protect the device from annoying malware threats as well.
Yesterday Kaspersky announced that their mobile security product line – which had previously only covered Symbian and Windows Mobile handhelds – was going to expand its horizons and focus on Android and BlackBerry smartphones as well.
Now, mobile security isn’t a new concept, by far. In fact, McAfee recently made claims that it is not only a current threat, but one that is sure to grow along with the mobile industry as well. When McAfee made this statement earlier this month, I discussed the fact that mobile security is simply over-hyped right now and that there is not as big of a need for it as people may thing; despite the amount of personal data that their phones hold. However, now that Kaspersky has expanded upon their mobile security product and is making it available for users of BlackBerry and Android-powered devices, I honestly think that there is going to be no stopping the mobile security industry.
Don’t get me wrong. Security is a great thing and should not be overlooked. But this new release by Kaspersky really rubs me the wrong way because of the amount of attention it is getting solely based on the fact that it now supports Android and BlackBerry. I have never heard of Kaspersky’s mobile product before, and now I’m suddenly seeing articles about it on several different technology sites. This bothers me, because when looking back at my previous article regarding McAfee’s predictions, BlackBerry and Android are two platforms that have over the last couple of years shown relatively low levels of security vulnerability. So what’s the point in protecting something that doesn’t have a huge need to be protected?
Personally, I believe that Kaspersky is looking at the number of users that BlackBerry and Android have instead of the number of threats they have. Business-wise, it seems logical that Kaspersky is simply trying to reach out to the largest audiences in order to attract a larger number of potential customers; even though there are – as of right now – no significant threats to in my mind justify purchasing a mobile security product for BBOS and Android.
Sure, the product does offer a bit of protection in terms of protecting user data from prying eyes, but besides that I honestly cannot see any reason why we need something like this right now.
Down the road, however, I can easily see where mobile malware will become a larger issue. And when it does, I will open the concept of Kaspersky’s mobile product with open arms. But until then, it seems about as pointless as pointless can be.
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