BAE Systems and Vodafone partner for mobile security push

Mobile phone with open padlock image

Security player BAE Systems has formed a five-year partnership with mobile operator Vodafone Group to help businesses secure the data stored on employees' smartphones and tablets.

The first product to be brought to market as a result of the partnership will be Vodafone Mobile Threat Manager, a cloud-based security offering that will be made available to the operator's 1,500 global enterprise customers in the Spring.

The offering works by scanning traffic to and from a company's mobile devices to protect users from malicious attacks and block inappropriate content.

BAE Systems also revealed that it plans to use Vodafone as its preferred global supplier of mobile communications, except for in the US.

As a result, Vodafone is expected to be start providing services to BAE Systems' 35,000 UK employees from July 2013, and then to the rest of the its global workforce as the contract progresses.

The technology tie-up has been billed by BAE Systems' as a sign of its continued commitment to expanding its cyber security arm, BAE Systems Detica, into the comms market.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone Group, said the partnership should help both firms respond better to the IT security needs of mobile workers.

"As a new generation of mobile-centric security risks begins to emerge, our customers are looking for our help to protect their businesses," said Colao.

"Our partnership with BAE Systems will strengthen further our commitment to meet our customers' increasingly complex cyber security needs."

Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems, added: "These [mobile] 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."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.