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The debate over the security of Android devices has been going on for a long time now. More than just an argument that comes up when Apple and Samsung fanboys are duking it out on forums, the security issue facing Google’s mobile operating system is either very real or overblown depending on which expert you talk to. Google’s own security security engineer Adrian Ludwig says that there is no significant risk posed to Android devices, but then he would say that wouldn’t he?

The concern amongst users is a very real one though, which is why something happened that we never thought we would see – antivirus apps are starting to become popular on smartphones. In particular, Lookout appears to be the standard for many, and it seems Samsung has taken notice.

In a deal that is expected to be announced later today, Samsung will begin shipping the Lookout Antivirus as part of its own Knox suite of security apps for the enterprise. If you’re a corporate IT manager, then getting the boss to let Samsung phones onto the network just got a little easier.

Lookout normally offers two tiers of features. The first, which is free, offers basic features. A paid-for premium version adds cloud antivirus scanning of email attachments and web browsing. Lookout has confirmed that it is this premium version that will be shipping as part of Samsung’s Knox setup.

Security on mobile devices is something that crops up every few months, usually after a new Android exploit has been found that allows hackers to gain access to data. This move by Samsung not only shows that the company is serious about making its handsets attractive to the enterprise, but also proves that the issue of malware on Android phones is a very real one no matter what Google says.

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We can’t help but wonder whether Google will soon focus on cutting out such security concerns at the operating system level rather than relying on third parties to do it for them. With Android’s activation numbers growing all the time, it will only become a bigger and bigger target as time goes on.

Just ask any Windows user and they’ll tell you what it’s like.

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