Symantec mixes firewall, antivirus, intrusion detection

Symantec Corp. Monday announced a new product called Symantec Client Security that integrates the company's desktop firewall, antivirus and intrusion detection products into a single suite intended to better secure corporate PCs.

Symantec Client Security melds the functions of all three types of security software into a suite in which each part works together with the others to protect PCs, said Gary Ulaner, group product manager in Symantec's Enterprise Solution Division.

This means that if the antivirus software detects a virus on or entering the PC, it can instruct the firewall to raise its threat level and block the file containing the virus from accessing other files or applications to keep it from spreading, he said. In the case of an attempted intrusion, the intrusion detection product can tell the firewall to block the connection the intrusion attempt is coming from and raise threat levels, he added.

The suite also includes content filtering based on a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) list, he said.

The suite is part of Cupertino, California, Symantec's response to the growing problem of blended threats, worms or viruses that spread through multiple means, including e-mail, the Web or file sharing.

"Every entry point into the organization must have a level of security on it," Ulaner said.

Symantec Client Security gives administrators a central point from which to manage all three security applications, rather than having to use three different consoles, he said. It also gives them the ability to download a single update containing new antivirus files, firewall rules and intrusion detection signatures, rather than getting all three separately, he said.

Administrators can deploy the software from a central point, allowing them to configure the systems remotely and to create and update policies in the same way, Ulaner said.

A single management console can administer up to 100,000 PCs, he added.

Symantec Client Security runs on Windows 98/ME/XP/NT/2000. It will ship worldwide in an English-language version in the second week of August, with French, German, Japanese and Spanish versions shipping 10 days to 15 days after that, he said. A Chinese-language version will come after that, he added.

The software costs US$69.90 per PC for 100 PCs, with discounts coming with volume.

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