Symantec Rolls Out Small Business Offerings

Company also announces acquisition of Web security gateway appliance maker Mi5

SAN FRANCISCO -- RSA Security Conference 2009 -- Symantec has expanded its small and midsize business offerings with the introduction of two new product suites and the acquisition of Mi5 Networks.

Symantec's new Endpoint Protection - Small Business Edition is an antivirus, anti-malware package that offers built-in tools, such as a client installation wizard and a streamlined user interface, that are designed to make it easier to deploy. It includes preconfigured notifications, recommended Symantec security defaults, and automatic security reporting. The new product takes about half the installation time of previous versions, Symantec says.

The company also launched Symantec Protection Suite - Small Business Edition, which includes the Endpoint Protection product, as well as a messaging security suite and a backup/recovery suite. The new products are built on the same "core protection engine" as the popular Norton line for consumers, but they offer management capabilities that are designed for 10 users or more, says Francis deSouza, senior vice president for Symantec's Enterprise Security Group.

"The nature of the antivirus threat is changing," deSouza says. "A year ago, the attacks were becoming more focused, and attackers were going after smaller groups of five to 10 machines. In the last few months, though, with Conficker and other threats, we've seen attackers going after large groups of machines again, and companies are asking, 'How well are you protecting me?'"

The acquisition of Mi5, which offers a Web security gateway appliance, will also help Symantec expand its defenses against emerging threats, deSouza says. "We are seeing that more and more of the malware is coming from the Web, and very often from legitimate sites," he notes. "Those are the types of threats that Mi5 can defend against." Symantec did not disclose how much it paid for Mi5.

Symantec already offers some filtering and email security capabilities through MessageLabs, which it acquired last year. DeSouza says the company plans to offer its suites of security capabilities in a variety of form factors, including software, hardware appliances, and software-as-a-service.

The new small business offerings are scheduled to be available this summer.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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