|Industry||Computer software, Security software, Mobile Security|
|Products||Lookout Mobile Security|
Lookout is a mobile security firm started by recently graduated students from the University of Southern California. The original name of the company was Flexilis. In 2005, the firm showed the vulnerabilities of smart-phone devices to hacking via blue-tooth, in addition to other problems in mobile security. In 2009 Khosla Ventures provided $5.5 million in funding to the company as it began developing mobile security software. The programs were initially tested on Android and Windows devices, before expanding to Blackberry and iPhone devices as well. The software was intended to protect mobile devices from malicious programs, as well as allowing users to back-up and delete data from their devices. The cofounders of Flexilis and Lookout are John Hering, who serves as Lookout's Executive Chairman, James Burgess, and Kevin Mahaffey. The principal research analyst for the company is Marc Rogers. Jim Dolce serves as the company's CEO.
Lookout was in use by about ten million devices within a year and a half after its official launch in 2009. As of late 2013, the company had raised $131 million in venture capital, and was valued at about $1 billion. Previous investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, Deutsche Telekom, and Index Ventures. The user base for Lookout security software was about 45 million users as of October 2013. This was about three times the downloads of other companies producing mobile security software, and included preloads from telecom carriers like Sprint, Orange Mobile, and T-Mobile.
Lookout produces mobile security apps for iOS and Android devices. The free edition is upgradeable to a premium version which includes a phishing and malicious website blocker, privacy advisor, photo and call history backup, device-to-device data transfer, remote locking and wiping, and support services. Lookout software also includes the ability to remotely snap a photograph of the phone's environment when lost or stolen, which can help to identify the thief or location of the device. In June 2014 the company released an app that produces real-time theft alerts, including a "theftie"--photograph of the thief taken automatically by the device--when certain actions are taken, such as a mistyped phone code. The software bundle also comes with a utility called "signal flare", which automatically flags the location of a phone once the battery starts to die, so that the device user can later ping its last known location.
In 2013 AT&T partnered with Lookout to bundle Lookout security apps with all of its mobile devices and tablets, and to take a portion of the profit from any premium upgrade purchased by its customers. Lookout also runs the Lookout Mobile Threat Network, which uses the data from tens of millions of mobile devices to determine trends and new problems with mobile security. Approximately half of all employees within the Fortune 1000 run Lookout on their work devices. In September 2013 the company introduced the Lookout for Business app to streamline this usage.
In 2014 Lookout released its "privacy toolkit" software program, which adapts legal documents into short-form privacy policies for website users and app developers, by walking a developer or lawyer through a series of questions that help them shorten and simplify their privacy policies. Lookout also produces surveys and studies of mobile security issues, including annual "encounter rates" of mobile devices with malware, and the rise of chargeware on mobile devices. In July 2013, they determined a security flaw in Google Glass, for example, that could allow hackers to defraud wearers of the device through the insertion of malicious code. That year it also estimated that about one million Android devices had encountered problems with adware. This included the BadNews malware found in Google apps, which Lookout discovered and developed support for in Spring 2013.
Lookout was noted in CNET's favorite Android Apps by CNET blogger Scott Webster in July 2011. CNET readers selected Lookout as their number three favorite Android app. In September 2011, Lookout was listed in VentureWire's 2011 FASTech 50: Most Innovative Technology Startups. PC Magazine also gave it an Editor's Choice award.
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- Austin Carr (July 22, 2011). "Lookout Security: An Antivirus Company That Wins Without Scaring Your Grandma". Fast Company. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
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- Andy Greenberg (February 13, 2013). "Lookout Conquered The Consumer Mobile Security Industry--Now It Just Has To Prove One Exists". Forbes Magazine.
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- Samantha Murphy Kelly (October 9, 2012). "New Lookout App Finds Your Phone Even When Battery Is Dead". Mashable. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Adario Strange (November 9, 2013). "AT&T to Bundle Lookout Security App on All Android Devices". Mashable. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Kate Tummarello (March 14, 2014). "Apps Look to Simplify Privacy Notices". The Hill. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Stuart Dredge (February 21, 2014). "The war against mobile 'adware' isn't over yet, warns Lookout". The Guardian. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Emir Afrati (July 17, 2013). "Security Firm Points to Flaw in Google Glass". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Salvador Rodriguez (June 26, 2013). "Lookout security app to flag adware on Android". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Tom Gara (April 19, 2013). "A New Kind of Virus for the Mobile Age". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Kent German (22 July 2011). "CNET's favorite Android apps (CNET 100)". CNET. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Kent German (26 July 2011). "Winners of the CNET 100: Your top 10 Android apps". CNET. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- Scott Austin (7 September 2011). "Unveiling VentureWire’s FASTech 50: Most Innovative Start-Ups". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Lookout" for Android, PC Magazine