McAfee has linked up with InnoPath Software to develop anti-virus technology for mobiles that will see the software updated over the air.

The collaboration springs from requests by mutual clients to provide added mobile security, said Victor Kouznetsov, McAfee VP of mobile solutions.

InnoPath is an over-the-air mobile device management company and its flagship DeltaUpgrade Plus software keeps device software up to date. Some of InnoPath's customers ship handhelds with McAfee's anti-virus product included and the companies saw an opportunity to align their technologies, Kouznetsov said. They hope to provide the anti-virus updates to both individual users and enterprise customers some time next time.

Standard operating systems and open specifications on mobile devices have made them more vulnerable to attack, McAfee said. It added that coming 3G networks will give device users an even greater ability to access and download content that could increase the spread of malicious content.

However, Sophos PLC security consultant Carole Theriault said that she sees no demand for this kind of mobile security right now. "Virus writers aren't targeting mobile devices. You'd be more at risk of having someone steal your phone on the train," she said.

Mobile devices could be targeted in the future if one dominant operating system provider emerges, but that remains to be seen, she added.