New program will let approved developers to embed its security and management features into their applications to speed deployment

Symantec to aid mobile app developers

Mobile software developers are good at translating ideas into applications, but they may not be good enough at incorporating enterprise-level security.

That’s Symantec Corp.’s assumption behind a new initiative to help independent developers and those within organizations create secure mobile apps. It’s one of a series of moves the company is making to help organizations face mobile security concerns.

Symantec’s App Center Ready Program lets approved developers join add Symantec’s security and management library to their Apple iOS and Android apps, which embeds the features like encryption, authentication, copy and paste data protection.

 “It will completely expedite their app development process,” Vizay Kotikalapudi, Symantec’s senior marking director.

After Symantec checks that the code has been implemented properly, the application will be listed in a catalogue on its site so organizations can find a list of certified software, and a link to an app store where they can be bought.

The effort leverages security technology Symantec gained in its purchase earlier this year of Nukona Inc., which makes mobile application management software.

Symantec said the first members of the program include business applications, such as Branchfire iAnnotate, Damaka Xavy, Emtrace MoxierMail, GoodReader, iKonic Apps, Infraware Polaris Office and Picsel SmartOffice.

The company also announced a new Android app for Symantec Managed PKI, which will transparently issue digital certificates to Android phones and tablets and make it easier to manage them. Companies can automate certificate enrolment, updates and revocation, and lower management costs. It joins apps for Apple iOS, Mac and Windows.

To make it easier for IT departments to oversee security, the company is also bundling three of its mobile applications into one suite called Symantec Mobile Security and made the pricing easier to swallow. It will include Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management and Nukona App Center (now called Symantec App Center).

Separately they cost almost US$200, and a licence is needed for each mobile device a user has. However, for enterprises the suite costs US$122 per user. Volume discounts from channel partners are also available.

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