Credant boosts security for laptops, PDAs

A new version of a mobile security application from Credant Technologies can now monitor and control an array of third-party applications on a laptop, PDAs or other handheld devices.

Version 5.1 of Credant's Mobile Guardian Enterprise Edition now can detect when banned applications are being activated, and then block them from retrieving the necessary files to launch. The goal is prevent disruptive, distracting, or dangerous programs from being run on enterprise clients.

The new version can also detect when removable storage devices such as thumb drives or iPods are plugged into a corporate PC. Mobile Guardian can block data transfers entirely or encrypt the data before the transfer, depending on the enterprise security policy.

Credant also added some security improvements, a new feature that lets you partially manage clients that belong to another company but are sharing your corporate data, and the ability to download updated Guardian security policies directly from the server to the client device, without requiring a cradle synchronization between the device and a PC.

To monitor third-party applications, Credant modified Guardian's client program, called Gatekeeper, which now can detect when certain designated applications are activated. If it's a blacklisted program, the Credant client on the laptop can block the application's attempt to retrieve files.

The previous version of Mobile Guardian could be configured to automatically either erase all data on a client device or lock the device after a pre-determined number of log-in attempts fail.

Now, the code on the client device sends a confirmation to the server that those steps have been accomplished. Another security change is the addition of new code to work with security tokens, such as SecureID for Windows, from RSA, IBM Biometric Authentication, and smartcards.

With the new code, users only have to log in once instead of twice with different username-password combinations. If you're sharing data with a business partner, their users can now download the Mobile Guardian agent. That agent lets you set and enforce policies on how that data can be handled by the other device.

The new version now works with various third-party applications for software distribution and synchronization, so that new Mobile Guardian policies, as well as instructions to erase data from a lost or stolen device, can be sent directly to client devices via wired or wireless connections, without requiring a manual resynchronization by the device user.Also new is the ability of Mobile Guardian to automatically encrypt data selectively, ranging from disk volumes, to designated files or types of files.

Finally, the software also now supports devices running Windows Mobile 5.0 or the Symbian operating system.Mobile Guardian 5.1 is available now. Pricing is unchanged, starting at US$85 per user, before volume discounts.

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