Symantec touts 'Security 2.0'

Company announces products, services and partnerships designed to secure consumers and businesses.

Joris Evers Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Joris Evers covers security.
Joris Evers
3 min read
Symantec on Tuesday outlined its vision for "Security 2.0," a new generation of security products and services for the connected world.

At an event in New York City, the Cupertino, Calif., company announced several products, services and partnerships designed to secure consumers and businesses and build confidence and trust online.

"Security 2.0 is not about a new service or one new killer app," John Thompson, Symantec's chief executive officer, said at the event, which was Webcast. "It's about integrating software, services and partnerships to protect customers' most important assets: their information and their interactions."

The battleground for security is no longer just the computer, or even a corporate network, Thompson said. Protecting information and interactions online requires more sophisticated security processes and technologies, he said. Thompson's address struck a similar chord to his speech earlier this year at the RSA Conference.

Symantec announced several products, services and partnerships to fit its Security 2.0 strategy.

For consumers, Symantec's plans include becoming an identity provider. People will be able to create a "Norton Account" to use when transacting online, Enrique Salem, president of consumer products at Symantec, said in a presentation. "We have to make this convenient and easy for consumers," he said.

Users, and not Symantec, will control their identity information, Salem said, addressing the main criticism that led to the demise of a similar effort from Microsoft called Passport. Also, Symantec will not create new technology standards, but plans to use Microsoft's CardSpace and the open-source OpenID technology, Salem said.

Symantec has partnered with VeriSign and will support the VeriSign Identity Protection Authentication Service in Norton Accounts, the companies announced Tuesday.

Other consumer products and services include an online version of Symantec's new Web shopping shield Norton Confidential. Banks and other financial institutions can offer the online tool to their customers to help secure transactions, Symantec said.

Norton Confidential combines a shield against data-thieving phishing Web sites and eavesdropping malicious software, with tools to manage personal information and Web site authentication.

Salem also talked up Norton 360, Symantec's next major consumer product release. Norton 360 combines traditional PC security, such as antivirus and firewall products, with the transaction security of Norton Confidential, backup and restore features, and PC health and optimization technology. Norton 360 is due early next year.

For businesses, Symantec announced a new partnership with consulting firm Accenture. They together plan to help companies manage security operations, build secure applications and comply with regulations, Thompson said.

In terms of products, Symantec is expanding its scope from protecting against threats coming from the outside world, such as worms and viruses, to also covering threats such as data leakage or internal fraud.

Several new Symantec products are designed to protect enterprise databases, e-mail and Web applications, Jeremy Burton, president of Symantec's enterprise business, said in a presentation.

Symantec Database Security is the first commercialized product developed by Symantec's Advanced Concepts Group, the company's research arm. It monitors databases for data leakage detection and auditing.

Symantec Mail Security 8300, adds features to look at messages flowing in and out of the enterprise via e-mail. Symantec is also working on a Web-filtering product, due next year, that monitors Web traffic going in and out of an enterprise, the company said.

"One thing is critical to making it all work, and that's confidence," Thompson said, talking about the potential of the online economy. "Confidence comes when all those in the connected world believe that their information will be protected, their interactions will be secure and that the risk of damage to one's self or one's company is minimal."