Mobile provider Orange Business services has launched a centrally-managed service to secure PCs in a number of risky situations, including home worker PCs, and roaming laptops.

Called ‘Secure My device’, it combines a comprehensive suite of security applications that sit on the PC to be protected, which are monitored through a web portal accessible to the IT administrator.

The applications themselves substitute for security features found on Windows XP SP2, including two-way firewalling, intrusion detection, anti-spam, and anti-malware provided by Finnish vendor F-Secure.

The part of the system that will appeal to small business admins is the level of remote control it allows over protected systems. Logging into the portal shows the status of each element of the security suite on every system, including update and subscription status. As well as tailoring security policies, the admin can also set up to what degree the settings can be customised by users starting from a set of pre-defined templates for office and laptops alike.

Policies can be set up to keep users in groups, for instance one for laptops and one for desktops systems and home users, and will integrate billing with Orange’s broadband services. The service only supports Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP, which might limit its appeal for businesses using a mixture of recent operating systems, such as Vista and Apple.

“Security is now a concern whether you are an individual, small business or large scale enterprise and with Secure My Device we are giving our customers the option to increase their IT and network security in a flexible, easy and cost-effective way,” said Anthony Keyworth, of Orange.

The service costs £3.50 a month per user, per PC being protected. The licensing allows for single increment upgrades up to 20 users, and increments of five licences up to 50 users. Above this number, and companies must use a separate enterprise portal.