IBM is offering a cloud-based managed service for mobile devices that will let IT managers exert management and security controls over devices based on Apple iOS, Google Android, the RIM BlackBerry, Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile.
The service relies on an IBM software agent being installed on each device intended to be managed, says Marisa Viveros, vice president of IBM security services. The IBM Hosted Mobile Device Security Management service will provide anti-malware protection, and the ability to detect and remove malicious or unapproved applications.
"It's a cloud infrastructure for system monitoring," said Viveros, pointing out that the service will allow IT managers to monitor and track user mobile-device activity, help find lost or stolen devices, and if need be, remotely wipe the contents. Viveros said the IBM mobile-device managed service could also be used to exert security controls on employee-owned devices that are being used in business. However, at this stage, the IBM managed service doesn't separate out personal data from corporate data.
The IBM Hosted Mobile Device Management service will include a portal that would let IT managers set policy and controls that are pushed out to managed devices, and the cost is expected to be around $9.99 per device per month, with discounts based on volume, when it becomes available in December.