Investment surges in mobile security as market heats up

Mobile security products are in high demand as companies increasingly allow employees to use their own smartphones and tablets to access sensitive business documents outside the office.

VMware said yesterday it would buy mobile security company AirWatch in a deal valued at $1.54bn (£920m) and the cloud software maker’s largest acquisition to date.

US-based AirWatch, whose rivals include Cytrix, MobileIron and FrontRange, says it has more than 10,000 customers including United Airline, Renault, and nine of top ten US retailers.

“This is part of the long-term growth trend in mobility, Airwatch is clearly inline with the enterprise trends such as bring your own device (BYOD),” VMware vice president of marketing Erik Frieberg told City AM.

On Tuesday the US Pentagon announced that it would buy 80,000 BlackBerry units from the struggling handset maker, boosting the firm’s share price by 9.3 per cent, as the US military invests in secure mobile devices.

VMware’s share price rose 1.2 per cent last night on the news to close at $98.51 in New York.