Symantec made several announcements this week designed to underscore its commitment to the SMB space, to extending its managed-security services package and to incorporating its newly acquired technology assets.
First, the company launched the Symantec Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security program. The new certification is designed to distinguish Symantec partners who have demonstrated product knowledge and implementation proficiency with its AntiVirus and Client Security products. The new program includes online and print training materials and certification testing for solution providers who plan, install, configure and manage Symantec antivirus, antispam, antispyware and firewall solutions in the SMB space. Partners can register for the certification through Symantec's PartnerNet and the Partner Learning Center.
Also this week, Symantec announced that Symantec Managed Security Services has extended its Symantec Vulnerability Data Correlation Service to more efficiently manage security risk by correlating vulnerability data with attack trends and enabling that data to meet regulatory-compliance requirements and maintain business continuity.
Symantec Managed Security Services analysts will now have access to a vendor-neutral correlation of customer attack data and known vulnerabilities. The analysts also can provide additional context with Symantec's DeepSight Threat Management System, which continuously correlates IDS and firewall attack data from the security systems of more than 20,000 partners across the globe. The system also gathers virus statistics from the Symantec Digital Immune System and other "human intelligence resources."
These analysts confirm when attacks occur and provide information detailing vulnerable hosts that have not been compromised, which enables patches to then be made. Symantec Vulnerability Data Correlation only notifies customers when they are at risk and strives to reduce false positives. Customers now have a single view for examining attack and vulnerability information through Symantec's Secure Internet Interface portal, and they can share the same snapshot of the customer's entire security landscape with Symantec analysts. The system also helps organizations demonstrate regulatory compliance through the correlation of vulnerability data.
The managed-security services provider (MSSP) concept has been around for a few years and is finally moving beyond the some customers' reluctance to entrust their internal data with third-party SPs. One such MSSP is Symantec partner TIG in San Diego, which has been able to gain traction in the financial-services market and others by pitching the cost savings organizations can enjoy with the MSSP model.
"For the most part, organizations have realized that they don't have the manpower to watch every node on their network 24/7," says Steve Groom, TIG's director of security and wireless solutions.
He says the MSSP model not only saves money, it enables companies to have their networks monitored more intelligently than even the best IT staffs can accomplish.
"Because they work with different companies, MSSPs see all kinds of different attacks; internal monitors are always seeing attacks they may not recognize," Groom says. "Using an MSSP also is about one-third the cost of having one or two IT engineers plus all the monitoring tools you'd need to buy, so customers are starting to understand that it's cheaper to do and you get a better level of response."
Finally, Symantec also announced this week that it has completed the acquisition of network access-control solutions developer Sygate Technologies, which was first announced in August; and the company extended the capabilities of VERITAS Cluster Server to include full support for replication solutions, such as EMC SRDF (including SRDF/A), EMC MirrorView, Hitachi TrueCopy, HP Continuous Access XP, the IBM High-Availability Disaster Recovery capability of DB2 Universal Database and the IBM Peer to Peer Remote Copy capability of IBM Enterprise Storage Server, NetApp SnapMirror, Oracle DataGuard and the company's own VERITAS Volume Replicator product. Symantec will rebrand the next version of Sygate's products during the next six months, before integrating the Sygate technology into the company's existing enterprise security portfolio.