How Symantec Is Changing to Better Meet Small Business Needs

Earlier this month I spoke with John Magee, Vice President of Symantec who gave me an update of where Symantec stands in the market place and its vision for small business security and information management.
Symantec is the fourth largest independent software company and over the past few years it has changed its focus from just security to information and systems management. Thinking of its “past”, only recently did I throw out my dusty copies of 3.5″ floppy Norton Anti-Virus diskettes!
As security has evolved from viruses to other & more complex threats, companies need more solutions such as storage management, information management, content filtering and other things beyond just security solutions. Symantec aims to fill this void with a plethora of solutions.

Some companies, especially larger ones, want to use a variety of solutions (best of breed) since they have the staff and expertise to manage these solutions on their own. However, there is a move by security vendors to consolidate the technology solutions companies (especially smaller businesses) use to protect themselves.
Symantec’s integrated solution, Endpoint Protection (no longer Symantec anti-virus) includes intrusion prevention, firewall, anti-spyware. eWeek has an overview of it here.
One of the advanced technologies embedded in Symantec’s Endpoint Protection system is Truscan. Instead of reacting to a security breach, after the fact, which means your computer might get infected (to some degree), Truscan identifies the threat and stops it from attacking your computer system.
Traditionally security software has been very “fat” and taken up quite a bit of memory on the desktop. Symantec is creating solutions that use smaller footprints, which helps the computer operate much faster as less memory is needed for security and can be devoted to other applications.
I asked John about Microsoft Windows Vista, which has improved the security built into Windows. One way it does this is by asking users questions before software is run on the computer or other actions are taken which would harm the computer if the action was by a malicious program or hacker.
John believes that Windows Vista’s security is an invasive user experience. Symantec has years dedicated security experience over Microsoft and will continue to focus on innovation. In any case, John explained that most sophisticated attacks are going to by-pass Vista’s “prompting” for permission. They’re going to be designed to not trigger Vista asking a user for permission to run a program.
Dell is making significant moves to provide managed services to its customers and I wanted John’s take on this. He explained that it’s all about making IT management simple. Whether the solution comes direct from HP, Dell, Lenovo or a local technology consultant, technologists overall must keep IT as simple to use and manage for the end user.
Symantec’s role in “making IT simple” is four fold:

  • Integrating multiple products into a single, small foot print, end point protection solution
  • Enabling backup and system recovery into a single product
  • Creating easier to manage systems
  • Enabling more software as a service solutions

So the new or evolving Symantec is much more than simple security solutions but it’s about protecting your data and helping you manage it as well.
Of course Symantec rivals McAfee and TrendMicro are not sitting still and have very good integrated solutions as well. St Bernard Software, Sophos and a dozen other vendors have excellent solutions as well.
It can be quite confusing to know which solution is best for you. How should you do it? Talk to your local technology consultant and get their input and advice.