In a bid to establish standards for diverse security products, Symantec Corp. has unveiled a technology partner program that the company says paves the way for third-party integration.

And while Symantec has had success in working with third parties in the past (primarily in the storage and

caching space with companies like Network Appliance and Blue Coat Systems), the latest third-party integration program is new to the security space, says Stephane de Saint Albin, Symantec Canada’s group manager, business and product delivery and response.

“The whole purpose here is to make it easier and faster for companies who have an interest in working with us for them to do so by creating the processes and creating a standard approach to engaging with Symantec.”

Under the program, qualified partners – mainly software developers and hardware manufacturers ‚ can get access to development support, joint sales and marketing resources and product certification. In addition, partners whose solutions meet interoperability criteria will earn the use of Symantec certification logos. To date, six partners have come on board: Blue Coat Systems, Clearswift, Entercept Security Technologies, Network Appliance, Top Layer Networks and Vigilante. “We now have the tools and services for third-party vendors to take advantage of this.”

He says the latest program fits into the company’s overall security management plan, which involves a framework known as the Symantec Enterprise Security Architecture (SESA). SESA, which was announced last October, provides a standards-based interoperability framework for Symantec and third-party solutions.

Essentially, he says SESA spells out the best approach to solving a customer’s No. 1 pain point. “There’s a need to proactively manage security in a customer’s environment . . . There’s a lot of diverse security point products, and as people get a lot more conscious about security, you have to figure out what’s the overall status of your company.”

So what’s the answer? Centrally managed security is the key, he says. “There needs to be a central way to gather all of the security data (all of the events, all of the logs created by firewalls, anti-virus products) needs to be centrally managed and analyzed.”

The program is a work in progress, he says, “In the short-term, we’re going to work with anti-virus, firewall, IDS, security assessment vendors, help-desk vendors.” The program may open up to resellers down the road, he says. “Eventually, I could see over time we make those tools and services available to value added resellers who provide integration services to their customers, but initially it will be focused on the vendors themselves. Once we have acquired the critical mass and are able to support different types of partners then we will expand it to VARs.”</

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