Rating: Established security firm now offers free anti-virus app for Android users
For a long time those with Symbian OS smartphones were genuinely safe from viruses and malware because no self-respecting hacker would gain any kudos for creating one. So the incentives basically weren’t there. The phenomenon of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is changing all of that, Sophos claims. With BYOD, the end user effectively selects which mobile device to use both at home and in workplace. The later brings corporate data into jeopardy and hackers have spotted the opportunity. Given that IT managers cannot be everywhere, all of the time, security specialist, Sophos has introduced a free lightweight anti-virus app which protects Android devices (smartphone & tablet) against malware, privacy issues and hardware loss. Perhaps, Sophos can replicate it success in the online market in the mobile world?The problem is apparently getting worse. According to Matthias Pankert, vp for product management with Sophos, “We’re seeing no slowdown in the number of malicious apps, as more smartphone owners use their devices to not only store personal data, but also access social networks and the Internet.
He continued, “This usage, coupled with the increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) activity, is making Android devices a compelling target for cybercriminals and malware.”
Sophos even quotes research from rival, F-Secure, showing that the growth rate in Android malware has increased. F-Secure says that last year  malware has increased 155 per cent over 2010, and the number of Android malware families nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2012.
There are, of course, many high-quality but free apps already in existence in the Android sector. GoMobile News, for example, has installed both AVG and avast’s offerings on our loan Motorola RAZR.
The company claims that Sophos Mobile Security automatically scans apps as users install them, blocking undesirable software and malicious code that can lead to data loss and unexpected costs.
In addition to safeguarding devices from malicious apps and other risks, Sophos Mobile Security locates lost or stolen Android devices and provides a remote lock to shield personal information from unintended users.
With such a crowded market for mobile security products, is Sophos hoping that its established name in the desktop/Pc security market will inspire IT managers to encourage their users to download its app to their Android devices?