This diagram shows the architecture of Wedge Networks' new mobile security platform.
Photo credit: (Photo courtesy Wedge Networks)
Data security solutions provider Wedge Networks recently announced that it has launched a new solution called Mobile Security Module to help wireless carriers, as well as Internet and cloud service providers protect their enterprise customers against malware and other security threats targeting mobile devices.
According to Hongwen Zhang, president and CEO of Wedge Networks, there has been huge growth recently in the mobile security space. In fact, according to Internet security firm Kaspersky Labs, there was a 540 percent increase in mobile malware in 2011.
"From a security perspective, because mobile devices do not have the same kind of processing power to enable defense systems for themselves, we are seeing a tremendous amount of attacks against them," Zhang said.
Traditionally, Zhang said that people have relied upon two different options to protect mobile devices from threats; On-device solutions and networks solutions, both of which have their own inherent flaws. Zhang said that on-device solutions provide limited defensive abilities, decrease device functionality, increase memory usage, decrease battery life and require provisioning/management form the owner or operator of the device. Network solutions also have a number of negatives including low anti-spam accuracy, low anti-malware accuracy, low performance, and a large network footprint.
What differentiates the Mobile Security Module from these existing solutions, according to Joe Bulman, senior system architect for Wedge Networks, is that it is a comprehensive mobile security solution that uses a multi-threat/multi-protocol platform to block threats at the network level before they reach end user devices.
"Comprehensive means best-of-breed anti-virus, anti-spam mobile threat intelligence information," Bulman explained.
Additionally, Bulman said that the solution is also very accurate and features full strength anti-spam and anti-virus databases not traditionally found in the mobile security market.
"Typically, on a device you would have a very small database, for one because of limited horsepower to actually run through complete anti-virus databases and for a second reason, bandwidth through which to download your updates," he said. "Certainly subscribers do not want to pay large amounts of money or enterprises do not want to pay large amounts of money to keep their anti-virus databases up to date, so vendors typically use a very small database."
Bulman said that it’s also important to have real-time anti-spam updates, which the company’s mobile security platform provides every minute. "When you’re applying these updates at the network, you’re effectively providing a shield around all of these mobile devices through the same update," Bulman said.
Because the platform supports multiple protocols, it can protect not only email and web applications, but all mobile device applications, which is important due to the fact the majority of cyber criminals today use blended, multi-channel attacks.
"A typical attack might be a spam email comes into the user with a link, the user clicks that link and instantly it potentially downloads a Trojan (virus), that Trojan affects the device and then of course that device can now be command and controlled potentially by SMS messages," Bulman explained. "We protect against all three of those channels. That means we protect against the spam even getting to the user in the first place. If somehow that spam gets in, we protect against the user clicking on that link… and if the Trojan is already on the device and attempting to make calls home or receive SMS command and controls, then we can also stop that based on their reputation or the (spam level) of that message."
Though the enterprise market is a large part of Wedge Network’s customer base, Bulman said that the company is specifically targeting telecommunications providers with this offering.
"We really do see a future where subscribers and enterprise users of mobility are going to prefer their ISP or their telco to provide this service with the help of us of course," he said. "The analogy we often use is that in the old ages we boiled the water before drinking it. Every household would have to do this daily chore and what we’re proposing is that the carriers and the telcos are providing a clean stream just like out of the taps in a city."