Anticipating that clouds will be the new "norm" for IT, Symantec has rolled out an expanded vision for cloud computing, as well as some new products and enhancements to support that vision.
"We think clouds will be ubiquitous," said Dave Elliott, senior product marketing manager at Symantec. "There will be thousands of clouds, and they will be connected to each other, and we believe cloud will be safe and secure. In five to seven years, I think the term 'cloud' will be gone. It will be just how you do IT."
According to research commissioned by Symantec, 23 percent of business information globally is already being stored in the cloud. And as that number continues to escalate, so will the need for effective cloud security.
Elliott says safe clouds are dependent upon more than securing the infrastructure. He also points to the ability to create and enforce policy, based on effective assessments of the relative value of each data stream, given its importance to the business as well as its role in regulatory compliance. It also needs effective authentication, as well as the ability to support effective backup and archiving.
In terms of product and service strategy, Elliott says that the company's recent Symantec.cloud services enhance security for Web, email and instant messaging while also enabling archiving continuity and backup. The new Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business is now in the process of being rolled out but is currently only available in select countries, including the United States. But at the core, the Symantec 03 rollout from last February sets a framework upon which they can build a strategic approach to cloud computing.
"It acts almost as a reverse proxy with a single sign-on, and you can layer on top of that single sign-on strong authentication," he said. "It comes with our VIP two-factor authentication. The single sign-on aspect is something that employees appreciate from the standpoint of convenience while at the same time making sure the applications are accessed securely. And, you can set policies and pull out information about access and usage."
The company is also rolling out an updated version of Symantec File Share Encryption. "This level of encryption protects confidential data and access policy for file-sharing services," he said. "And we are leading off with additional security for Dropbox, based on customer demands combined with the fact that Dropbox has definite security challenges."
The updated version of Symantec File Sharing Encryption is expected in the first half of 2013.
At the program level, Symantec has also announced two new training tracks for channel partners and customers, and it is also hosting a series of webinars and events to promote cloud-related computing and services.
"Cloud Smart Training for Resellers is about helping partners to transition their business," he said. "It looks at ways to develop an overall cloud strategy, considers what's happening in the cloud, and how does the cloud impact channel partners, in terms of the risks and benefits. Then, there is additional training to help them compete."
PUBLISHED NOV. 5, 2012