September 2, 2007
The popularity of Bluetooth and mobile messaging services in the Middle East is leading to ample opportunities for security and content filtering firms to exploit in the region.
This week at the GSM>3G Middle East & Gulf conference in Duabi, Saudi Arabia’s leading carrier, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), tapped mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile to defend customers of is Aljawal mobile network from malware and inappropriate messages.
Content filtering is a touchy subject in the Middle East, largely because the end users see it as invasive, but for operators it is a necessity for the protection of network resources.
Lorcan Burke, CEO of AdaptiveMobile, said that mobile viruses and problematic applications often originate on Bluetooth, which is used widely in the Middle East for transferring content because of cultural constraints. It might not even be that a problem application is a virus or some kind of malware, it could just be a badly written application that uses the data network to send a lot of MMS or SMS traffic that does not have a valid termination point. This increased traffic can quickly overload the network.
AdaptiveMobile will deliver its PolicyFilter MMS product to protect Aljawal’s users from spam and viruses as well as illegal or inappropriate content across all media types, including mobile internet, text, images, music, voice and video.
Graeme Baker, general manager of Adaptive Mobile, Middle East, said companies targeting the region need to be able to demonstrate control capabilities and MMS inspection for spam detection and content filtering. “You have to focus on conserving network resources,” he said.
Mohammed AI Ageel, general manager of IT at Aljawal said the operator “is vigilant towards protection of the individual and therefore we rely heavily on the technology delivered by AdaptiveMobile to offer our customers total peace of mind.”
AdaptiveMobile has partnerships with leading enterprise security companies such as Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, Sophos and Websense for its antivirus signatures, anti spam tools and internet categorisation filtering.
“Different countries have different expectations of what is considered to be appropriate and therefore it is vital that we can offer flexibility to adapt to the different markets we serve globally. MMS services can be more vulnerable to security risks and it is key that customers can feel instantly comfortable and protected through their choice of provider. These sorts of products can give an immediate competitive advantage within such a crowded market,” said Burke.
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