In an interesting piece at CNNMoney.com, Janice Chaffin (head of Symantec’s consumer-security software division) has speculated that the world’s largest security software maker could develop antivirus and antispyware software for Android.
“Today we’re on Windows,” Chaffin said. “We’re going to evaluate things like [ Android] as it goes forward.”
Obviously, a few boxes have to be ticked first, however. For example, Symantec are currently only “evaluating” whether to get involved and the outcome of this decision primarily rests upon whether there is a sufficient uptake of Android on more traditional laptop/computer-style devices. Naturally, if Android were to work its way onto the mainstream computer, more viruses and spyware would be written to exploit gaps left in the Linux based OS. Even though Linux is traditionally thought of as secure and robust, the usability features that have been added to make Android what it is could easily produce soft-spots that may be taken advantage of. This isn’t to say Google won’t have been doing everything in the book to prevent this from happening (even with the whole of the internet at their feet they may have miss of something), but sometimes a specialist company is better suited to solving these kind of things.
The hardest part for any software developer for Android or any netbook-style device that Android will undoubtedly run on, is dealing with the requirement for low-cost and lightweight (in terms of resource requirements) software. Symantec is known for its slightly heavier built software that in its current form would not perform well on a low-cost netbook.