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Symantec Launches Cloud Security Platform

Symantec launches O3 at the RSA Conference. The cloud security platform will be available to channel partners in the second half of the year.

Symantec Launched Tuesday a cloud security platform that will be available to channel partners in the second half of the year.

O3, which has been in beta since last year, automates data protection and governance and is designed to provide access to information based on corporate policies. O3 uses identity as a basis for allowing single sign-on to cloud services.

"O3 adds a control point for enterprises, so people are actually going through a gateway where there's a single point of authentication," Brian Duckering, senior manager for enterprise mobility at Symantec, said. "We can verify who they are and then use that same identity as they're accessing sites."

O3, launched at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, will be rolled out in three phases, Duckering said. The first will encompasses access control through single sign-on and identity brokering, followed by data loss prevention and encryption technologies and compliance control through the aggregation of security events to perform audits

The strategy behind O3 is to give corporate employees access to cloud services that are necessary for their jobs, while ensuring data protection. "This is an extension to what we're already doing with mobile -- trying to maintain a high level of productivity ... but add a secure layer, so that we can control the flow of information and we can control potential loss and access control," Duckering said.

O3 will be available from Symantec starting Tuesday. The product will be available through the channel in the second half of the year.

Symantec also announced at RSA integration of several of its security products with VMware-based virtualized environments. VMware customers choosing Symantec can get the tools for system protection, data loss prevention, compliance control and endpoint security.

Other announcements include the release of Mobile Management for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Available in March, the SCCM version of Mobile Management will provide mobile device management through the Microsoft software.

Mobile Management in general enables customers to apply corporate security policies across mobile devices. The software currently supports Apple iOS devices, with support for Android and Windows Mobile 7 in March.

Other new features of Mobile Management include integration with Symantec's new Managed PKI Service v8.3, which includes certificate management enhancements for iOS. The PKI Service provides user identity and authorization.

This summer, Symantec plans to release Mobile Security for Android, which is enterprise software focused on preventing malicious applications from stealing corporate and personal data, while also preventing users from visiting malicious Web sites. The software is expected to be available for tablets and smartphones in the spring.

Android is considered the riskiest mobile platform by IT professionals, according to a recent survey sponsored by security vendor Check Point. In its latest mobile security report, Juniper Networks found that in the last seven months of 2011, malware targeting the Android platform rose 3,325 percent to 13,302 samples.

Other new products introduced by Symantec included Data Loss Prevention for Tablets. Shipping first for Apple's iPad, the software has limitations because Apple gives primary control of the device's settings to users, making it difficult for IT staff to lockdown configuration settings to meet corporate security policies.

Symantec has gotten around this by tying DLP for Tablet with Mobile Management. If configurations are changed or a user tries to bypass a security policy, an alert is sent to IT staff, who can notify the user or take more drastic action, such as deleting corporate data from the device, Duckering said.

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