Market For Securing Mobile Devices Nascent

The market for software to protect mobile devices such as smartphones has yet to take off despite brisk sales of devices such as Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry and Apple Inc’s iPhone.

Symantec Corp Chief Operating Officer Enrique Salem estimates that it is currently worth a few hundred million dollars a year.

“It is growing. But given the number of handsets, the number of smartphones, you would think it would be growing at a much higher rate,” Salem told the summit. “I can’t give you an exact number but it is not as fast as you might think.”

Like Symantec, McAfee Inc sells security products for mobile devices and has more in the works.

“Certainly we see opportunity there,” McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt told the summit.

For now, security on mobile devices is seen as an extra feature on programs designed to fight malicious software on personal computers and laptops, said Mike Haro, senior analyst with Sophos, the largest privately held security software maker.

But that is starting to change, he said.

“Customers are beginning to look at what their strategy is for smartphones,” he said in an interview. Reuters