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Smartphones present challenge to enterprise WLANs


Today's Top Stories

1. McAfee's new tools for mobile security
McAfee announced its newest tools for securing data on mobile devices. The company announced a three-pronged approach that includes the McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management software, McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator and its Global Threat Intelligence network. "Mobile device adoption is exploding, and unfortunately, so are the threats targeting mobile platforms," Josh Dasher, senior director for mobile security at McAfee, told eWeek. McAfee said its mobility management software enables administrators to apply the same security parameters to mobile devices that are already used on laptops and PCs. The software can also apply policies on both corporate-issued and personal mobile smartphones and tablets. Administrators can also add anti-theft and loss features such as remote backup, lock and wipe to prevent critical information stored on mobile devices from being exposed. The software can also be used to make sure that mobile devices without the proper encryption in place can't connect to the corporate network.

2. Verizon starts limiting bandwidth to heavy smartphone users
Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Wireless has implemented what it calls a "network optimization" plan designed to limit the bandwidth for the operator's top 5 percent of 3G smartphone users who are on a grandfathered unlimited data plan. Verizon is careful to state that network optimization is the not the same thing as data throttling since customers' data speeds will be reduced only when they are connected to a congested cell site. "Once you are no longer connected to a congested site, your speed will return to normal. This could mean a matter of seconds or hours, depending on your location and time of day," the company said on its network optimization FAQ page. The company identified the top 5 percent of users as those who use more than 2 GB of data in a billing cycle. For the time being, 4G LTE users aren't affected by the network optimization plan and neither are those users subscribing to 3G tethering plans. Verizon said the offending customers will have their connections optimized for just two consecutive billing cycles in total, and they will be alerted on their monthly bill or My Verizon home screen that they may fall into the top 5 percent of data users. And Verizon won't give a break to businesses: "Anyone on an unlimited data plan, with a 3G device and in the top 5 percent of data users is subject to Network Optimization practices when connected to congested 3G cell sites," the company said. "If you think this will impact your business, contact your sales representative or go into your local Verizon Wireless Communications Store to discuss other service plans to meet your needs." The move was not unexpected. Back in February, a leaked Verizon memo detailed such plans.

3. Survey: One-third of companies still don't support employee-owned smartphones
While individual-liable smartphones are a growing trend in the enterprise, a new survey from Forrester Research reveals that more than a third of companies still offer no support for personal smartphones or ban their use in the office. The firm, which surveyed 1,051 IT managers in North America and Europe, discovered that 26 percent of those companies questioned don't offer support for personal mobile devices, while another 10 percent ban the use of personal devices altogether. Moreover, 16 percent of those surveyed said their companies support a variety of personal devices, while 14 percent support just certain types and models. Forrester said that the increasing number of individual-liable devices and the questions of supporting them are "crippling" existing mobile strategies. As such, enterprises are rethinking their strategies to include both company-owned and individually owned devices. Almost 600 of the firm's clients within the last six months have requested advice on ways to support employee-owned devices, Forrester said.

4. Sprint shores up policies as iPhone 5 launch looms
Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) is tweaking some of its policies as its reported launch of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone draws near. The operator is now shortening its handset return time frame from 30 days to 14 days, and it is canceling its Premier rewards program. Customers will now have two weeks to try out their handsets and return them without having to pay the early termination fee. Moreover, the company is dropping its "Free Guarantee" program, which gave a free trial period to new Sprint customers. In phasing out its Premier program, Sprint is eliminating the ability for customers to upgrade their handsets at the fully subsidized price after 12 months of service. "In order to continue offering customers one of the best values of affordable unlimited data plans in the industry today, cutting-edge devices at great prices and our ongoing investment in providing great customer service, we had to make the difficult decision that it's necessary to bring the Sprint Premier Program to a close at this time," Melinda Parks, director of marketing at Sprint, said in a blog post. Though it hasn't confirmed the reports, Sprint will reportedly offer the iPhone 5 next month.

5. Voalte, AirWatch introduce mobile platform for hospitals
Mobile health care app company Voalte is teaming with AirWatch, a developer of smartphone security and mobile device management solutions, to introduce a platform that will help hospital administrators manage mobile devices throughout buildings and campuses. The platform, called Voalte Connect, is designed to give administrators a way to manage all enterprise-issued and personal mobile devices from a central and secure location. For instance, clinicians will be able to send and receive presence-based text messages, make phone calls via the hospital's VoIP system and receive critical care alarms on their iPhones. "Introducing updates, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices through Voalte Connect allows hospitals to better control and protect their data as well as greatly reduce cost and risk," said Trey Lauderdale, vice president of innovation at Voalte, in a press release. "This is essential for data and device security."

TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT... Report: Mobile malware surges 273 percent in first half of 2011
Mobile malware increased 273 percent in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, according to figures from security firm G Data."With mobile malware, cyber criminals have discovered a new business model," said Eddy Willems, Security Evangelist at G Data. "At the moment, the perpetrators mainly use backdoors, spy programs and expensive SMS services to harm their victims. Even though this special underground market segment is still being set up, we currently see an enormous risk potential for mobile devices and their users. We are therefore expecting another spurt of growth in the mobile malware sector in the second half of the year." Article > Google and Intel announced they will work together to ensure that future versions of Google's Android operating system function on Intel's Atom processors. Article (InformationWeek) > Bernstein Research projects widespread adoption for HTML5-based web application development could cut Apple's operation profit growth by 30 percent, reducing margins on the iPhone and lowering iPad market share. Article (FierceDeveloper) > Mobile platform provider Kony released its second-annual mobile marketing and commerce study, revealing that 40 percent of organizations cite developing applications across multiple operating systems and devices as the largest challenge when it comes to their mobile strategies. Interestingly, the survey also found that 89 percent of companies think they can receive the funding required to execute their mobile marketing strategies with little or no effort. Article (Mobile Marketing Watch) And Finally... Danish retailer Aesir said it hopes to sell its $57,400, limited-edition 18-carat gold phones to Moscow's fashion-forward elite. Article (Yahoo! News)