Symantec partners with Accenture, VeriSign

NEW YORK – Symantec is addressing what it calls Security 2.0 – or the next wave of security – with a host of new products, a managed security services strategy and partnerships with Accenture and VeriSign.

Security 1.0 was about protecting systems, but Security 2.0 is about protecting information, said Jeremy Burton, group president of enterprise and data management with Symantec Corp. during a company meeting yesterday.

Seventy-five per cent of all intellectual property is contained within e-mail, while 75 per cent of all litigation involves some kind of e-mail discovery, said Burton. And one in 50 files contain confidential information.

Confidence in online interactions is the essential ingredient for success, said John Thompson, Symantec’s chairman and CEO. Viruses and worms aren’t much of an issue anymore – that problem is pretty much solved. But new threats, such as phishing and identity theft, are much more concerning.

“It’s not about point products,” said Thompson. This is why Symantec is teaming up with Accenture to offer Accenture and Symantec Security Transformation Services. Consultants from both companies will build and roll out data security solutions for companies that are struggling with the complexity of their IT environments; this will include compliance, security monitoring and management, and application security. Services will initially be available in North America and Europe.

“There’s such an avalanche of regulatory requirements,” said Alastair MacWillson, managing director in charge of Accenture’s global security practice. Risk evaluation is a huge challenge for most companies, he said, because they lack systems that tell them how good their security is from an operational perspective. Security Transformation Services will provide customers with dashboards that show them where their security is working and where their vulnerabilities really are.

“Regulatory compliance doesn’t equal security,” he said, “but it’s still a key factor.” And there’s a global recognition that compliance is a much more cost-effective way of managing security, he added.

Symantec also plans to offer support for the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Authentication Service, which allows customers to use one-time passwords to protect their online identity.

For the first time in a decade, consumer confidence in online transactions has started to erode, said Stratton Sclavos, chairman, president and CEO of VeriSign. “We’ve begun to build out consumer identity protection networks,” he said. “We are going to work together with Norton to provide an end-to-end solution.”

This will be embedded in a future release of Norton Confidential. The two companies plan to jointly market combined identity and security solutions to financial institutions, online retailers as well as end-user customers.

Some 11 million yellow boxes ship every quarter, but Symantec wants to move beyond that, said Enrique Salem, group president of consumer products and solutions with Symantec.

While 86 per cent of phishing attacks are now targeting home users, this spells trouble for businesses, since many consumers interact with them electronically. And, according to Gartner Group, 53 per cent of users are now uncomfortable putting personal information into Web forms.

Symantec is trying to gain that consumer confidence back through a number of products announced yesterday. It also started testing its managed security services strategy yesterday in South Korea, which has the highest broadband penetration in the world.

Products include Norton Confidential Online Edition, which will allow financial institutions to help customers bank online. Based on Symantec’s recently announced Norton Confidential product, it will be delivered via bank-to-consumer and retailer-to-consumer distribution channels.

TD Canada Trust launched an earlier version in July, called Norton Confidence Online, which has resulted in more than 100,000 downloads since its launch. Version 2.0 is expected to be available in 2007.

Symantec Database Security is designed to help businesses, governments and academia reduce risk to information stored in enterprise database management systems through fraud and data leakage detection, as well as auditing capabilities.

Symantec Mail Security 8300 Series is the company’s next-generation mail security solution with integrated content filtering to help protect against data leakage while providing compliance with external regulations and internal corporate policies.

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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