Symantec Eyes Desktop

Product combines antivirus, intrusion-detection, firewall technologies

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Symantec is looking to extend its integrated security strategy to the desktop.

Next month, the software vendor plans to launch Client Security, a product that combines antivirus protection with other security technologies, company executives said.

As security threats,such as last year's multipronged Nimda virus,become more complex, customers are seeking integrated solutions rather than point products from different vendors, said Symantec President and COO John Schwarz. What's more, the security solution must protect each layer of the network,including the client, since portable hardware such as laptops can become infected and end up affecting the corporate network, he said.

As security threats get more complex, customers are seeking integrated solutions rather than point products from different vendors. --John Schwarz, Symantec

Client Security combines antivirus, client firewall, content-filtering and client-side intrusion-detection applications and allows them to communicate, said Lily De Los Rios, vice president of product delivery and response at Symantec.

For example, the firewall can initiate a virus scan even if its antivirus function is turned off, and the intrusion-detection function can instruct the firewall to block malicious traffic, De Los Rios said. The product, slated to ship next month, also offers single installation of all the technologies and can be customized by VARs, she added.

Client Security fits in well with Symantec's layered approach to IT security, said Paul Rohmeyer, COO of Icons, a North Brunswick, N.J.-based security services firm. "There are many paths in and out of most corporate networks. Many of those paths aren't necessarily controlled by a central IT team, but they typically control the desktop," he said. "If you have solutions that are server and client, you're making it harder for someone to circumvent your controls."

Symantec's plans call for future versions of Client Security to extend to wireless devices, a company spokeswoman said.

Client Security also will integrate with Symantec Security Management System, which is due in late September and will give administrators a single view of their entire security operation, Schwarz said. The software will correlate data from Symantec and other vendors' products and enable administrators to centrally manage their security operations and respond to threats, he said.

Earlier this year, Symantec launched an integrated security appliance to protect networks at the Internet gateway. In the fall, the vendor plans to release a higher-speed network intrusion-detection system sensor, Schwarz said.

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