McAfee has announced a first of its kind whitelisting security solution for Android-based devices. The McAfee Application Control for Android is currently the only security solution that will be integrated in the Android kernel and embedded in the operating system.

This solution will provide protection from installation or execution of malware on an Android device as well as protection at the application layer to Android devices.

At the moment, Android is the most popular smartphone OS in the world, but has for years faced a severe malware issue that kept cropping up through rogue apps as well as pirated apps, which end up harming the system. The vicious malware problem has not halted Android’s success in the markets, both established and emerging.

Image source: Getty Images

McAfee's solution is integrated into the Android kernel. (Image source: Getty Images)

McAfee is the only security technology provider that provides enforceable security by residing in the Android kernel space. As Android kernel has been adopted on core Linux platform, it was a natural ground for us to extend our whitelisting solution capabilities to Android,” said Rishi Bhargava, Vice President, Product Management, Embedded Security at McAfee.

As Android continues to grow in its adoption, McAfee is committed to making this platform as secure and trusted as other common embedded developer platforms.,” he added.

The McAfee Embedded Control solution provides tamper-proof protection, superior control of devices and ease of management. Previously, security firms had only one OS-integrated option—Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux)—to enforce security capabilities for their embedded systems.

Before McAfee Application Control, security applications only operated at the user level in Android. This left devices highly vulnerable to system-level breaches. The new control removes this security gap with a kernel-residing security solution. This massively improves security for the entire Android stack. The embedded control also blocks unauthorised apps and changes on point-of-service infrastructures like retail devices, medical devices, industrial control systems, office equipment, gaming devices, automotive, and various military and aerospace devices.

There was already growing interest in Android in embedded systems. With McAfee extending its security to Android, this will only enhance the operating system for new product designs,” said Hiroshi Komura, Associate Senior Vice President at NEC Infrontia Corporation, referring to the potential use of Android-based software in payment terminals, medical equipment and other such areas where it could not be used previously due to widely-known security problems.

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