On Monday Kaspersky Lab said that it has signed a deal with Qualcomm to improve security "at the lower level" of a smartphone and tablet's mobile operating system. This includes offering "special terms" for preloading the security firm's Mobile Security and Tablet Security products on Android devices powered by Snapdragon chips.
"Kaspersky will be offering these special terms to a wide range of customers, who are manufacturing or having manufactured on their behalf Snapdragon-enabled mobile devices or tablets running on Android," the company said. "To date, Qualcomm Snapdragon processors can be found in more than 770 commercially available or announced products, with another 550 product designs in the pipeline, from 70+ device customers."
According to Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolay Grebenikov, the company proposed a partnership with Qualcomm back in February. Some of the concepts thrown on the table include using separate parts of a mobile OS to employ security, an ability to store information securely, and the ability to make a connection to a secure cloud. Currently the project is in a very early stage, he said.
"We are trying to build relationships with some vendors in the mobile world - a main one for us is Qualcomm - we are talking with them about incorporating security in the lower level operating system," Grebenikov told The Inquirer. "For example, [vendors] cannot protect against malware which is divided into several pieces and each is not malicious itself but when installed all together they will have a malicious functionality."
Kaspersky Lab said it already has more than 80 global partner and technology agreements with companies including Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Juniper Networks, Alcatel Lucent, Blue Coat, Check Point, D-Link, GFI, Gwava, Netgear, SonicWALL RSA, ZyXel, Alt-N, Parallels, Lenovo and Facebook.
"We have a solid number of global companies we work with, and Qualcomm Technologies will be one of the most important among them," added chairman and CEO Eugene Kaspersky. "We are looking forward to providing solutions to a wide range of device manufacturers, who are designing and/or building Snapdragon-enabled mobile devices or tablets running on Android."
Offering security on the lowest software level should help reduce the growing threat of malware on mobile devices, especially those powered by Google's Android platform.