Getting a grip on handheld security

The appearance of the first malicious code targeting the Palm Inc. computing

platform last week awoke many people to the fact that handheld computers

need security just like any other computer.

Fortunately, Network Associates Inc. and Certicom Corp. last week announced

new additions to their efforts to secure wireless handheld devices.

Network Associates announced the first product in a new suite under

its McAfee business line aimed at protecting wireless users from viruses

and similar malicious code. Certicom, meanwhile, announced a new partnership

with Cisco Systems Inc. to ensure that the Certicom virtual private network

client for handheld devices will work with Cisco's VPN platforms.

McAfee VirusScan Wireless gives administrators the ability to scan for

e-mail-borne viruses on handheld devices that run on the Palm OS, Microsoft

Corp. Pocket PC, Microsoft Windows CE and Symbian Ltd. EPOC platforms.

System administrators can install VirusScan Wireless on employees' handheld

devices via e-mail. New virus definition files are updated automatically

when the user connects to the Internet. VirusScan Wireless will also scan

any files transferred to or from a user's desktop during synchronization.

Certicom's VPN client for handhelds also takes advantage of the company's

elliptic curve cryptography technology to ensure secure access to internal

networks for employees using wireless devices.

Certicom released the VPN client in June, but by joining the Cisco Security

Associate Program, the two companies will work to make sure the Certicom

client will work with all of the Cisco VPN-optimized routers.

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