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Symantec Boosts Microsoft Azure, Office 365 Protections, Paving The Way For More Hybrid Cloud, Security Opportunities For Partners

Security specialist Symantec will now be bolstering security to for Microsoft Azure and Office 365 environments via an extended partnership between the two companies, making it easier for businesses to adopt hybrid cloud, while giving partners more cloud security opportunities.

Microsoft Azure and security specialist Symantec want to make it easier for businesses to adopt hybrid cloud while giving security a boost.

Through an expanded partnership that the two companies announced this week, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will now be secured with Symantec's Web Security Service. The added layer of security will give partners and their end customers better control over their cloud usage, while preventing data leaks and ensuring regulatory and corporate compliance is being met.

The expanded partnership between Microsoft and Symantec helps to more broadly establish the security that's already inherent in the Azure platform, said Reed Wiedower, CTO of New Signature, a Microsoft partner.

[Related: Microsoft Azure Tempts Business Users By Slashing Support Prices, Critical Response Times]

"There’s no better way to do that than to have a customer who has been monitoring their existing data center for specific vulnerabilities maintain that pane of glass once inside a service like Azure," Wiedower said.

As businesses move to the cloud and look to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy, traffic between cloud infrastructure, corporate data centers, and mobile users can be slowed down using certain security applications. But with tighter integration between Symantec and Azure environments, businesses can use the Symantec Web Security Service to move their entire network security stack to the cloud, which will give users a direct, secure onramp to the web, Office 365 and Azure, for faster security, according to Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec.

’The collaboration between Microsoft and Symantec brings together advanced network security and intelligent cloud infrastructure,’ said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group in a statement. ’Symantec’s full suite of security and compliance controls complement our broad set of Azure security solutions to provide customers with an ideal, trusted cloud platform."

The combination is great news for channel partners, especially solution providers already familiar with Symantec's products, said New Signature's Wiedower.

According to Symantec, Microsoft and Symantec share many of the same solution provider partners.

"We have a large base of customers who frequently are leveraging Symantec solutions in their existing data center for security, and haven’t had a great way to seamlessly transition into platforms like Azure without a disruptive amount of change," Wiedower said.

For solution providers like Washington, D.C.-based New Signature, the combination means that even as partners help their customers transform their IT environments, the customer won't be forced to substitute an existing security product for another one, or worse, according to Wiedower, lose security features they’ve come to rely on.

"For [customers] who are dependent upon proxy-based security from Symantec, this is a huge win to enable them to embrace the public cloud," he said.

The news follows Symantec’s October announcement that named Microsoft as a strategic cloud provider, and that the security company would be using Azure to help power its Norton-branded cybersecurity products.

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