With the number of smartphone users growing exponentially, cyber criminals are getting attracted to target mobile devices and platforms. Android, due to its popularity and open app eco-system, is attracting the lion’s share of hacker attention. Hackers are writing malicious programs that can steal personal data from mobile devices, use these devices to generate spam, call premium rate numbers and perform other harmful operations on devices without the user being aware of it.
MobileHeal is a mobile security solution on Android platform, which protects the device from such untoward incidents by addressing the menace of malware. It uses both signature based as well as behavioral scanning technology. MobileHeal also offers anti-spam, anti-theft, back-up, parental controls, privacy advisor, device location tracking and remote management functionality. It is the first product from Jarviz Mobile Security’s bucket. Jarviz was founded in 2012 by Ravi Raina, Harmeet Bedi, Parmindra Kwatra and Siddharth Tiku.
Ravi has worked in the energy sector for over 30 years with renewable power as well as conventional power. Before starting Jarviz, Ravi was President of Aston field Renewables and lead a renewable energy company consisting of solar, biomass, solid waste to energy. The exposure to varied energy forms helped him develop his skills in building business, including IPP based power models and turnkey power plants. He advises organizations in business strategy and growth issues and also some bilateral institutes and policy makers in the government.
Ravi has been a corporate professional for last 30 years and his sudden quitting came as a surprise to many. He says, “People thought I had lost it. My family supported my new startup move as it gave me new energy to learn a new field.” Explaining his shift from energy sector to mobile security, Ravi says, “I met with some senior government officials on security business who discussed that there was a need to protect outgoing information from mobile devices due to growing crime in the cyber space. They wanted Indian industry professionals to take up this challenge to protect against hacking of phones and maintain confidentiality of data while roaming. My partner Harmeet has been developing security solutions for Canadian government for the last 20 years. We decided to start up Jarviz to develop a composite solution to protect infiltration of malicious content in mobile devices.” They pooled in their capital and put in technical resources to develop an Android app called MobileHeal to serve this purpose. Jarviz is based out of Gurgaon and has a team of 10. Their engineering team is based out of both Gurgaon and Canada.
There are many international as well as domestic players in the mobile security market. Huge uptake of smartphones worldwide has attracted a lot of attention to the mobile security space. Most of the companies that have been offering anti-virus solutions on desktops, McAfee, Norton and F-Secure to name a few, have extended their offerings to mobile devices as well. There are many new players too who have been attracted to address the mobile only space due to sheer volume of the mobile devices being sold.
Elaborating on MobileHeal, Ravi shares that it is not a pure-play anti-virus player and they offer a bouquet of other utility and services integrated in their offering. In addition to anti-spam, anti-theft and location tracking support, they offer parental control features as well. Using this, parents can exercise granular control and ensure safe usage of calling, messaging and web browsing functionality on smartphones by their children.
For protection from malware, they support behavior based scanning in addition to traditional signature based scanning. While signature based scanning looks for pre-set patterns, behavior based scanning examines the overall behavior pattern of an app to figure out if it is engaging in suspicious activities. Ravi says, “We are trying to set the bar high with cutting edge user experience and usability. Our anti-virus scanning functionality is one of the fastest in the category. Our android app also sports a new Metro UI look, which is a refreshing change for those bored with typical android app look and feel. Being a home-grown solution, we are able to offer customized offerings hosted on secure clouds quite rapidly.”
They will be adopting a white-labeled service model as their core strategy where they are aiming to collaborate closely with handset manufacturers to embed a white-labeled version of their product on the devices. They are also in the process of collaborating with other channel partners and resellers for distribution of their software, both white-labeled as well as under the MobileHeal brand.
The first beta version has just been released a few days back and it is available on Google Play store. They are providing both a freemium and premium model. With the freemium version, of course the functionality is limited. They are offering a 15 days trial period to experience the full feature set and expect a reasonable conversion to the paid version following the trial. The premium app retails for Rs 365 for the annual subscription i.e. Re 1 per day.
Ravi explains the long term plan saying, “Our mission is to develop a security solution locally in mobile area. With our mobile security business, we want to be a preferred partner for enterprises and government undertakings in India. We wish to be a global player in this space and develop customized products and solutions from Jarviz at most competitive prices. We want all citizens to have full right to their privacy while doing their communication.”
Jarviz is also exploring other opportunities to expand their product portfolio. They have initiated work on their next product for Indian market and are planning to launch it by the next quarter.
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