Enterprises seeking higher security for their growing number of mobile devices may be interested in new encryption technology that Nokia is deploying in its smart phone products.

The manufacturer has teamed up with Swedish company Pointsec Mobile Technologies to develop encryption technology for smart phones based on its Nokia Series 60 and Series 80 design platforms, which run on the Symbian operating system.

The encryption technology extends to mobile devices the same type of security that many enterprises have deployed in their desktop and notebook computers, according to Pekka Isosomppi, a spokesman for Nokia's Enterprise Solutions division.

The encryption data prevents unauthorized people from accessing stored data in a device, which is either lost or stolen, Isosomppi said.

"All contents stored in the device, including MMC cards, is encrypted in a powerful way so that if the device is lost, for instance, the finder won't be able to do anything with the data," he said. "In other words, even if a person were able to extract data from the device, that person wouldn't be able to view the data."

The encryption technology, however, doesn't extend to incoming or outgoing data, such as e-mail or SMS (Short Message Service), according to Isosomppi.

"That is something managed separately by firewall technology," he said. "Our new encryption technology is focused on the physical loss of a device."

Isosomppi said the encryption technology is designed for enterprise users. "The technology can be managed centrally; this is important to companies," he said. "IT departments can issue passwords and, in the event a user loses his or her password, can help quickly recover data."

The first of Nokia's smart phone products to feature the new encryption technology is its 9500 Communicator, to be available later this year.