Symantec hooks up security firm

Symantec Thursday announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire start-up WholeSecurity, maker of behavior-based security and anti-phishing products. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Behavior-based software identifies malicious code, including Trojans, viruses and worms, by its behavior on computers, such as attempting to access a registry. This is in contrast to the more traditional signature-based method of identification, which looks for an exact match with attack code. While behavior-based software sometimes lacks the accuracy of signature-based approaches, the main advantage is that it can block malicious code in the early stage when before it's fully analyzed.

"It's the zero-hour protection," says Brian Foster, senior director for product management at Symantec, about why Symantec wants to acquire WholeSecurity's technologies. "We'll continue to sell WholeSecurity's standalone products."

In addition, Symantec envisions combining WholeSecurity's behavior-based software with technology from Sygate, which Symantec is also in the process of acquiring. Sygate makes policy-enforcement and desktop firewall software that ensures security policies, such as use of VPN, anti-virus or patch updates, are followed.

"In the future, we see combining both into a single product for host integrity, perhaps with our Symantec anti-virus and Client Security products," says Foster.

WholeSecurity offers products that include Confidence Online for Corporate PCs, Confidence Online Phish Finder, and Confidence Online for Web Applications, which can scan a remote machine that doesn't have a behavior-based agent on it to clean or block infected computers from gaining access to Web applications. WholeSecurity customers include eBay, Deutsche Bank and Visa.

The company was launched by Tony Alagna in 2003 with US$8.5 million in venture-capital funding from Venrock Associates and New Enterprise Associates.

The acquisition by Symantec is expected to close in October.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?