Roaming internet access specialist iPass is getting into device security via a deal with Symantec.
It is integrating Symantec's Sygate Enterprise Protection software into its client package - this includes USB lock-down, device health-checks, policy enforcement, application authorisation, and other features.
IT managers will be able to set up access and security policies for the mobile devices under their control by logging onto iPass's management portal, said Ken Green, the roaming company's European technical director.
He claimed the service, called Device Protection Online, has advantages over installing separate laptop security software because it is integrated with the connectivity service. That means different security policies could be defined for different locations or connections, for example.
It also exists within the iPass infrastructure, so the customer doesn't have to install its own device management servers and software, Green added. There's no standard pricing - it depends instead on the "volume and commitment", he said.
"It is an online-only subscription component. There is software on each PC but there's no network component at the enterprise, and IT management has no hardware or infrastructure concerns."
He warned in particular that application authorisation - the ability to lock the PC so that only the apps you've whitelisted can run - is an easy one to get wrong.
"It is a powerful tool, you've got to make sure you get it right," he said. "We provide default policy templates plus tools, so for example you can benchmark a clean version of your standard PC image with all your allowed applications and so on, and then add new applications as you roll them out." ®