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Symantec powers down security appliances

It will stop building some of its network and gateway security appliances, in a strategy shift entailing about 80 layoffs.

Symantec is shaking up its security appliance strategy, a move that entails the dismissal of about 80 employees, the company said.

The Cupertino, Calif., company is cutting its investment in the network and gateway security appliance business, a Symantec representative said Monday. As a result, it will stop making the hardware for its Symantec Gateway Security (SGS), Symantec Network Security (SNS) 7100, and the SGS Advanced Manager 3.0 products.

Symantec will continue to develop the software that these appliances use, but will look for partners to build the hardware, the company said. It will continue to sell and support products currently in the market.

The security company informed employees of the changes late last week, the representative said. About 80 people will lose their jobs as a result of the move. Symantec employs about 15,500 people worldwide.

The changes won't have any effect on Symantec's other security appliances, which include Symantec Mail Security (SMS), Symantec Security Information Manager (SSIM) and Symantec Network Access Control Enforcer.

Separately, Symantec on Monday announced Norton Confidential, a new product that promises to secure people's online transactions. Norton Confidential's beta program is slated for later this summer. The final version of the product is due out in September for Windows and October for the Mac OS. Pricing has not yet been announced.