With viruses becoming more of an issue on mobile handsets, Nokia is extending its existing agreement with Symantec to deliver Symantec Mobile Security to Nokia's Series 60 devices.

Nokia is protecting its Series 60 devices because their computer-like applications can make them more vulnerable to possible virus attacks, even though the actual possibility of an attack remains relatively small, Nokia says.

Symantec Mobile Security for Symbian OS will automatically turn on virus protection and close vulnerable ports. The solution includes an AutoProtect feature that continuously runs in the background to detect malicious code. Users also have the ability to manually scan applications and file archives, Nokia says.

"As more and more data, including financial and personal details, are being stored on mobile devices, they are increasingly at risk to malware threats," Symantec's Vice President of Mobile and Wireless Solutions Sarah Hicks said in a prepared statement. Sixty percent of smartphone users currently store business or client data on their handsets, a Symantec survey found.

The agreement is not limited to Nokia; other Series 60 licensees will have the ability to evaluate Symantec's security solutions for their smartphones as well, according to the companies.

The agreement is an extension of an existing deal between Nokia and Symantec. In November 2004, Nokia announced it was preloading Symantec's Client Security on the memory cards used in its Nokia 9500 Communicator and 9300 smartphone. Symantec's Client Security solution was designed for Symbian operating system-based devices.