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Vodafone and BAE Systems collaborate for mobile security services

Mobile operator Vodafone and arms dealer BAE Systems have announced the formation of a five year strategic partnership to develop a range of security products, which will initially focus on mobile.

With mobile threats on the rise, Vodafone is aiming to shore up the services it provides to enterprise customers and will create a host of new security solutions for smartphones and tablets in tandem with BAE.

For the British defence firm, the partnership represents further expansion of its cyber and security arm, BAE Systems Detica. Arms manufacturers are set to become increasingly involved in the cyber sector as organisations look to protect their networks and governments seek to bolster their digital arsenal for potential cyber conflict.

The companies have revealed that a new cloud-based mobile security solution, Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager, will be the first “commercial element” of the alliance when it is brought to market in Spring 2013. Initially available to Vodafone’s largest 1,500 global enterprise customers, the product works across all networks, scanning traffic to and from a company’s mobile devices to protect against a variety of threats.

The five year agreement will also see Vodafone become BAE’s preferred mobile communications supplier across the world, barring the US. Vodafone will provide services to BAE's 35,000 UK employees from July 2013, with a view to expanding its support across the company’s global workforce over the term of the contract.

“As a new generation of mobile-centric security risks begins to emerge, our customers are looking for our help to protect their businesses,” said Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group. “Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers' increasingly complex cyber security needs. We also look forward to working with BAE Systems as the company's communications partner."

Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems, added, "This partnership is unique, not only in bringing together a defence and security player with a major communications provider, but also in its ability to help global enterprises realise their ambitions around leveraging the future of communications technologies in a secure manner. These technologies are subject to the vulnerabilities of cyber space and we can provide the mobile marketplace with protection against today's threats and the advanced threats of the future."

ITProPortal took a closer look at these new threats in our mobile security feature yesterday, as researchers call for “worldwide psychological shift” in how we treat security on smartphones and tablets.

Elsewhere in the cyber security sphere this morning, it has been claimed that an “overwhelming percentage” of US-targeted cyber attacks that originated in China have been traced to a Chinese military location in Shanghai.