Symantec Corp. has rolled out a new product designed to address the cloud-based or on-premise security needs of customers with 250 seats or fewer. The new offering, called Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013, basically combines two legacy products known as Endpoint Protection.cloud and Endpoint Protection, version 12.1.
"We have combined the two into one offering based on subscription pricing," said Andy Singer, director of product marketing at Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec. "Some of our customers are not yet ready to move to the cloud. So, this product enables them to move to the cloud when the time is right and continue to leverage this offering at no additional cost. They merely make the switch at the management console."
Capabilities include anti-virus, desktop firewall and host intrusion prevention, and the offering is backed by the company's "Insight" reputation-based security technology and SONAR, which is Symantec's behavioral security technology.
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"Insight scans files and tracks a number of characteristics, including where the file was uploaded from, where it is hosted, how many people have downloaded it, the countries they're downloading it, and other usage and behavior parameters," he said. "It not only blocks files that are known to be bad, it also blocks things that you may not know to be bad just yet. You can set your own risk level, and each file gets scored based against that risk level. This enables the channel partner to spend less time remediating virus issues on PCs.
"At the same time, Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response [SONAR] analyzes the file in a secure environment on the desktop and tries to understand what it is going to do before it can actually do it," Singer continued. "It looks at the executable to see if it's calling out sensitive system files or is taking other malicious actions. If it is, we block it and also report back to our database so that when anyone else gets it, we have that information."
Other features include the ability to load updates to one machine, which would then distribute the updates to other computers on the network. Administrators can also elect to block data transfers from USB devices, thereby reducing the vulnerability of this popular attack vector. The product is supported by Symantec Partner Management Console, which enables partners to easily monitor and manage the environments of customers with cloud-based deployments.
Singer also noted market research statistics suggesting that targeted attacks have doubled against businesses with 250 or fewer employees, climbing to 36 percent of all targeted attacks.
"I like the fact that this is a single license from which you can choose whether to go on [premise] or to the cloud," said Scott Anthony, president of iFocus, a Morristown, N.J.-based channel partner. "I also like being able to manage all of my customers from a single pane of glass. Also, the Windows 8 support is going to be very important as we go down the line."
PUBLISHED OCT. 1, 2012