McAfee adds mobile security with Trust Digital purchase

McAfee is acquiring Trust Digital to expand its mobile device management and security capabilities.

McAfee sees the mobility writing on the wall, and it recognizes that the technologies its customers rely increasingly on smartphones and other mobile technologies to conduct business. McAfee announced that is acquiring Trust Digital as part of a strategic focus to deliver the tools IT administrators need to effectively manage and secure mobile devices.

It is hard to ignore the evolution of computing to mobile devices that can connect from anywhere. The Apple iPhone, and Android smartphones such as the EVO or Incredible provide mobile computing and connectivity from the palm of your hand. Intel is aggressively at work delivering the technology for smaller, lighter netbooks that don't compromise performance. The Apple iPad, and other aspiring tablets like the Dell Streak represent an entirely new niche mobility market.

A recent survey found that 34 percent of business professionals actually conduct more business from their smartphones than from their "real" computers. Eight out of ten business professionals would give up their morning cup of coffee before parting with their smartphone.

The survey illustrates how entrenched smartphones are in the business culture, and represent the importance of mobile computing for business professionals. Of course, some of the same things that make the mobile computing devices effective and convenient also allow them to be easily lost or stolen. IT administrators need tools that help them manage data policies on mobile devices and provide security for them as well--both to protect the devices themselves, as well as for protecting the network from potentially compromised mobile devices.

"Business users are thrilled by the capabilities of iPhones, smartphones and tablets and are quickly adopting them as their handheld computers, but their IT counterparts must now find tools to effectively secure and manage them," said Mark Shull, chief executive officer, Trust Digital in a press release. "The integration of Trust Digital with McAfee will enable enterprises to rapidly deploy new mobility devices such as smartphones across diverse mobile environments cost effectively and with the highest level of security. Together, we will enable IT to say yes to the iPhone and Android."

Trust Digital's tools work with a broad range of mobile operating systems, including iPhone OS, Android, WebOS, Windows Mobile and Symbian. McAfee can take the Trust Digital solution and incorporate it into ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), providing customers with a powerful platform for centralized management, monitoring, and reporting on mobile device usage and security.

"The acquisition of Trust Digital's industry-leading enterprise mobility management solutions will extend the current McAfee security portfolio beyond the traditional endpoint, addressing the rapidly expanding mobile security market," said Dave DeWalt, president and chief executive officer of McAfee in the press release. "Once completed, Trust Digital's industry leading enterprise mobility management solutions combined with leading McAfee antivirus, antispyware, host intrusion prevention, policy auditing and firewall technologies, will enable McAfee to address the mobile workforce by mitigating the risks associated with vulnerable or malicious mobile applications downloaded by employees. Through this acquisition, we believe McAfee can expand its reach into new markets, secure new platforms and strengthen its leadership position."

McAfee expects the acquisition of the privately-held Trust Digital to be completed by the end of June.

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Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
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