In a first for any carrier, Sprint yesterday launched Sprint Mobile Security, a hosted end-to-end security management solution for mobile handheld devices as well as laptops that's said to be the only integrated offering that works across multiple carriers, devices and operating systems.
"Sprint hosts the software and offers service through a portal, and then IT administrators can have as much control as they'd like," says Stephanie Burnham, Sprint group manager of product marketing. "It's developed and tested by us, and then we hand over complete visibility to our customers. Plus, it comes with 24/7 support."
The third offering in the Sprint Mobility Management portfolio (which also includes billing and device management), the goal of Sprint Mobile Security is to enable enterprises to, in many instances, take full advantage of what they already have, says Burnham. "If a company already has a VPN, it can now manage that functionality more easily, and for $8 per month, per device. At Sprint, what we're trying to do is help customers manage their mobile environments, and do so as easily as possible."
Sprint Mobile Security offers nine different features, wrapped up in one bill. "Basically, there are three key categories: data protection, threat prevention and compliance," says Burnham. "A lot of smartphones have things as simple as passwords, but few users enable that. So we've got a very robust compliance aspect to this solution. We can help IT administrators enforce over 150 security policies. The technology can be in place, but if you don't have a way to ensure that users are complying, it's just going to sit there dormant on the device."
Other features that are sure to attract attention are "kill pills" for wiping data on lost or stolen devices--even laptops--and auto remediation, which checks a user's device when the user logs in; if the device isn't up to date with the company's security profile, the system will automatically fix itself (instead of sending the user to hunt down software updates).
Sprint is currently in trials with several large companies, and businesses in verticals such as healthcare, insurance, government, finance and even retail are all "raising their hands first," says Burnham. "It offers customers a way to make sure their corporate policies and processes are being enforced. When we talk to customers, the number one fear we hear cited over and over again is security. We hope this solution will eliminate that fear."
* To learn more about security options for the enterprise, be sure to check out the October 2006 Special Security Issue of Mobile Enterprise magazine. Or, visit MobileEnterpriseMag.com to discover our printed content online.