Symantec Focuses on Internet Security

Symantec leverages expertise in anti-virus technology and strategic partnership with IBM to move into the lucrative internet security market

Utility software firm Symantec Corp. has announced intentions to focus on developing Web-based content security and management products.

Best known for its antivirus and computer utilities software, such as the Norton Utilities suite, Symantec's latest strategy intends to capitalize on the current explosion in Internet use. The company's corporate revenues have experienced dramatic growth, and now constitute about half of its total revenue.

These offerings will include applications that filter Internet content, protect against unknown threats, and block unwarranted or unauthorized intrusion to enable corporations to extend their business securely without exposing their systems and data to unnecessary risk.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the content security market will be worth more than US$3.5 billion by the year 2003, said Enrique Salem, vice president, Security and Assistance Business Unit and chief technical officer, Symantec.

In line with this strategic thrust, Symantec recently acquired URLabs, a firm that provided products in the areas of Internet access control and e-mail scanning. It will also extend the platforms for Symantec's product offering, to include support for Unix and Linux environments, not just Windows.

URLabs' technologies and products include I-Gear, a content management software suite, and the Mail-Gear e-mail server, which were launched under the Symantec umbrella of products.

"Businesses are reinventing themselves to focus on e-businesses… More data is also moving to the Internet and intranet, so security tools are needed," said Salem.

This shift in strategy will see Symantec working closely with partners more involved in the area of infrastructure and platform providers, said Salem. For Singapore and Malaysia, the content security products will come under partners who currently deal with the enterprise customers.

Additionally, Symantec is also talking to Internet Service Providers, to reach consumers and small businesses. This model will have ISPs purchasing security products that sit on their Internet gateway server, and the security services can be offered by the ISP to customers either as a paid or value-added service.

Symantec will also be working is working with IBM to create and perfect a digital immune system (DIS) that will use computers to scan, identify, and fix viruses without the need for human intervention. Symantec's implementation of a management system as a security offering, it will include antivirus, connectivity support for remote devices, and content security.

In June, Symantec announced plans to spin off its Internet tools division into an independent company aimed at providing the corporate market with electronic commerce software and other Web-enabling technologies.

Symantec is at www.symantec.com/.

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