Symantec, Nortel Join Forces To Block Threats

The products, expected to be available to channel partners of both companies in 2005, include an intrusion detection system platform as well as technologies designed for the network perimeter.

As the first initiative in the new relationship, the companies said they have combined Nortel's deep-packet inspection technology with Symantec's knowledge of global threats to develop a prototype of a high-performance security engine that can be deployed within an enterprise's existing network infrastructure.

Peter Cellarius, business leader for wireless security and applications for Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel, said the prototype eventually will give way to a larger, end-to-end security strategy that solution providers will be able to sell into some of their current Nortel and Symantec customers.

"As a security initiative, this is enduring and broad as opposed to selective," he said. "We see this as the start of a new level of integration of security into the core of the network."

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Richard Pearce, senior director of business development at Symantec, said the partnership could not come at a better time. Symantec documented more than 4.5 times the number of new viruses and worms in the first six months of 2004 compared to 2003, and the Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor is set to report even bigger increases for the second half of 2004.

"Looking forward, we can see how networks are evolving and it seems you need to have the ability to address threats much closer to real-time," Pearce said. "With some of our signatures, we will be able to give enterprises the power to harden their infrastructures against vulnerabilities as well as exploits."

The prototype is based on Nortel's application switch portfolio, and tracks and stops threats using signatures updated in real-time by Symantec's LiveUpdate technology. Beyond this, the two companies are working on other technologies they can deliver to the mass market, including hosted applications, client compliancy solutions, and traditional security products such as anti-virus and firewalls.

Nortel also unveiled Tuesday a series of remote access security solutions and threat protection capabilities designed to improve access security for remote workers and instantly detect and shut down threats from anywhere inside a customer's network. The solutions, all of which are expected to appear as stand-alone appliances as well as managed security services, will be available in early 2005.