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Symantec launches data loss prevention solution for tablets

The security vendor's latest offering will allow channel partners to provide risk assessment and prevent data breaches

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) today announced a data loss prevention offering for tablets, available first for the iPad in early 2012 and eventually for other tablet devices.

Symantec Data Loss Prevention for Tablet, part of the vendor’s DLP and mobile management set of solutions, will monitor and protect sensitive information such as customer credit card numbers or intellectual property such as product designs, from being transmitted either over a 3G network or WiFi.

“This allows companies to have their employees use their iPads,” said Tim Matthews, senior director of product marketing at Symantec, whether company provisioned or personal. “The iPad is still by the far the most popular especially within companies.”

Security, though, is the primary concern when it comes to tablets, he said. “Let’s just call them a headache for security teams these days.”

Companies can either monitor the sensitive information directly and then approach the employee attempting to transmit it, or actually block the messages from being sent all together. If employees do have access to sensitive information that can be posted to cloud-based file sharing sites, then companies can purchase encryption solutions separate from DLP for tablets, he said.

DLP for Tablet will be sold through Symantec’s channel partners. “These days, Symantec actually prefers our channel partners to do our installations,” he said. Partners can also play a role after the installation by customizing what information qualifies as sensitive.

This extends to social media as well. For example, if a company is going through a merger or acquisition, it can monitor to ensure employees aren’t putting out announcements in their Facebook status before the deal goes public.

Matthews said the product will be a nice fit for channel partners looking to offer security services such as risk assessments.

“We find that this is most suitable for companies of over 500 employees, where they have an IT department and some security staff,” he said. Companies smaller than that simply aren’t thinking about DLP yet, he added.

Symantec expects support for Android tablets by the second half of 2012, he said. Pricing information isn’t yet available, but will likely fall between $50 and $75 per tablet, Matthews said.

Follow Harmeet Singh on Twitter: @HarmeetCDN.