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Symantec unveils new security products

One software package aims to make vulnerabilities easier to identify and manage while the other product may help companies identify and respond to Internet attacks.

Security company Symantec will announce on Monday two software products aimed at helping companies lock down their computer systems and networks.

The Symantec Vulnerability Assessment package aims to help companies keep track of which computers have known software flaws that need to be fixed. Symantec has also released version 2.0 of its Incident Manager application designed to help corporate security teams and the chief security officer organize attack data.

"(These products) will let security staffs cut costs and increase their coverage of attacks," said John Heath, senior product manager at Symantec. He added that the data on many attacks is frequently lost in the deluge of data generated by intrusion detection systems and other security devices.

The new products represent the latest salvo by Symantec in one of the strongest tech markets: Security. Last fall, the company released its Enterprise Security Management System, an integrated set of products that Symantec says will bring together data from disparate security appliances and help network administrators secure their companies.

The two new products build on that platform.

Symantec's Incident Manager promises to correlate data from different sources about the same attack. The Vulnerability Assessment product uses software agents installed on workstations and servers to determine which vulnerabilities affect which systems.

The result is fewer false alarms and better data regarding ongoing attacks, said Ronald van Geijn, director of product management at the company.

"The incredible amount of vulnerabilities and information being sent (to administrators) means they have to sift through and find the information that really makes a difference to them," van Geijn said. "We strove to create a product to give them control over vulnerabilities in their environment."

Symantec plans to sell Incident Manager based on the number of systems that a customer wants to monitor. Companies can do a credible job for between $75,000 and $100,000, said Heath. Symantec Vulnerability Assessment will cost $795 for each server software agent installed and $150 for each software agent installed on a workstation. Both prices include a year of support and updates.