Barclays Bank focuses on mobile security with Kaspersky

Barclays has become the first UK bank to offer mobile phone security, by giving free Kaspersky software to the two million customers registered for online banking.

The security vendor will offer Kaspersky Mobile Security software, adding to the free Kaspersky internet security software Barclays started offering in July last year. This is a due to the recognition that people are increasingly using mobiles to perform financial transactions, as they are becoming more accessible and faster, according to Kaspersky sales director Simon Geach.

He said that the software isn't just about protecting the phones' operating systems from malware, but also to secure data stored on the device such as banking details, text messages and contacts.

"The main emphasis of the product is to tell people that they can secure their device so that anything stored on it can be protected in the event of it being stolen," Geach said.

"It also gives people the opportunity to recover the device by [using] the SIM card monitoring technology. If somebody else puts a SIM card with a new number in it, the device will send a message detailing what the new number is."

He said that Barclays' relationship with Kaspersky security had been going for a couple of years. Barclays' aim is give banking users access to security software as well as making sure that they were aware of the potential risks.

He added: "There is fear element, and people don't necessarily understand what the danger is. This makes sure they are aware of it and how they could protect themselves."

Last December, Kaspersky predicted that 2009 was going to be the year that smartphone threats grow serious.