Symantec lifts the curtain on Hamlet

Symantec Corp. is set to release later this year its newest enterprise security platform, Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Symantec Network Access Control 11.0, the company’s latest endeavour to integrate various security applications into a single software product.Codenamed Project Hamlet, Symantec Endpoint Protection combines Symantec’s anti-virus, anti-spyware, and device control, as well as technologies from companies it acquired such as Veritas’ Raw Disk Scan, Sygate’s firewall technology, and Proactive Threat Scan for intrusion prevention from Whole Security.

Symantec Network Access Control 11.0 will come pre-installed in Endpoint Protection as an optional module that can be turned on through a licensing arrangement, said George Myers, director of product management with Symantec.

The product, Myers said, is aimed at addressing increasing costs and complexity associated with managing endpoint security by providing administrators a single window for monitoring endpoint security and enforcing security policies.

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Network Access Control provides a single console for controlling network access and enforcing endpoint security policies. The tool can discover and evaluate endpoint compliance status, provision network access, provide automated remediation and consistently monitor all endpoint for any change in compliance status.

“Security today needs to be policy-driven. That’s why we focus on technology to help [organizations] automate policies,” Symantec CEO John Thompson said at the firm’s Vision conference last month.

Endpoint security is about management, Thompson said during his keynote address, and that was the idea behind Symantec’s acquisition of Altiris, a provider of IT asset management technology.

If Symantec’s technology integration efforts in the past are any indication, Symantec Endpoint Protection can become a very valuable tool for IT administrators, said Fred Hopper, director of corporate security, IT and quality, at Metaca Corp., a credit card manufacturer based in Toronto.

Hopper cited Symantec’s Gateway Security appliance, which combined sophisticated firewall functionality with an intrusion detection system, e-mail filtering, VPN and Web content filtering as a good example of how Symantec has successfully integrated security technologies in the past. Gateway Security has been “a great fit” for Metaca’s IT security needs, he added.

“A common theme in IT shops these days is the need to support an increasingly complex infrastructure with staffing levels and technology budgets that are continually in catch-up mode,” Hopper said.

For instance, partitioning different local area networks into different segments based on security level and function is becoming a common occurrence in the organization, but the expertise and staffing needed to accomplish this properly can be daunting, he explained.

“Tools that provide best-of-breed effectiveness with logical and admin-friendly management interfaces are quite valuable (to IT)…If Symantec Endpoint Protection proves to be equally well thought out (as Gateway Security), it will be a useful tool indeed,” said Hopper.

Its single management capability, meanwhile, makes Endpoint Protection an appealing technology for one American financial firm.

BankUnited, based in Coral Gables, Fla., has approximately 1,500 employees across 81 branch offices, said Brian Rosario, the bank’s vice-president for support systems manager. The bank processes the highly sensitive financial data of its customer, making it a priority for the company to deploy the most advanced, multi-layered security measures to protect those data, Rosario said.

The ability to deploy, manage and maintain Endpoint Protection from a single location can be a key benefit to his company, he added.

Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 and Network Access Control 11.0 are slated for global availability in September. Endpoint is in public beta.

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