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Samsung aims to strengthen Android armour with Lookout partnership

Folks who use a Samsung Android device for business will soon be more protected from mobile threats.

Samsung has announced it has struck a deal with mobile security firm Lookout to bolster the security of Android devices running its Knox security suite for businesses. As part of the deal, Lookout's real-time, cloud-based scanning software will now be part of the Knox security platform, offering protection against mobile threats from email attachments, web browsing, and file-sharing services, the companies said.

"We're excited to partner with Lookout to bring an additional level of security to Samsung Knox," Injong Rhee, senior vice president of Samsung's Knox business group, said in a statement. "Lookout is the leader in mobile threat protection, and through attachment scanning and safe browsing they are uniquely equipped to address business mobile security and the evolving challenges in the BYOD [bring-your-own-device] movement."

The Knox security suite is described as an "end-to-end solution that provides security hardening from the hardware through to the application layer." The platform will remain fully compatible with Android and the Google ecosystem.

In addition to the deal with Samsung, Lookout also announced plans to expand into the business sector with a stand-alone mobile security offering coming later this year. The news comes as organisations struggle to deal with threats targeting mobile devices, especially on Android.

An overwhelming 79 per cent of all mobile malware threats target Android, compared to just 0.7 per cent designed to take advantage of Apple's iOS, according to a recent joint unclassified memo from the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice.

Nearly half of the malicious apps aiming for older Android OS devices are identified as SMS text message trojans, which send messages to premium-rate numbers without the user's consent, resulting in "exorbitant charges." Other threats include rootkits and fake Google Play domains.