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Symantec Adds Policy Enforcement to Security

As small companies strive to perfect one trick, the big security vendors want to own the whole process, and they have strong arguments in favor of the total control suites they offer. That was the story with the opening of the RSA security conference yesterday, and it's the story in today's announcements from Symantec.

The company is integrating endpoint protection and messaging security into the Symantec Protection Suites. There's an enterprise version for businesses with over 100 nodes and a small business version for those with 100 nodes or less.

The new features add compliance and policy enforcement to a security product that already protects the desktop and fights spam and viruses. The enterprise edition has special modules that protect Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino collaboration software.

Symantec Network Access Control for Self Enforcement is new to the enterprise edition. For resellers, it offers the opportunity to sell more sophisticated NAC products to enterprise customers who use the Protection Suite, Joan Fazio, Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) director of security product marketing, told InternetNews.com.

The backup feature of the suite also provides benefits to the channel. It is a simple, very basic backup function that provides an opportunity for VARs and integrators to offer more sophisticated products.

"We call it an opportunity to 'land and expand,'" Fazio said. "Customers can start with baseline backup and upgrade to an enterprise vault."

Another differentiator, she said, is that customers don't need to deploy the new product all at once. They can adjust the deployment project to fit their staff and resources.

Acquisition

That covers desktop and messaging protection, but what about the Web? Symantec also seized the opportunity to announce the acquisition of Web security player Mi5 Networks. Mi5 offers an appliance-based Web-filtering gateway that screens out viruses and malware while giving businesses URL blocking and policy enforcement.

"We thought it would help us expand our portfolio," Symantec spokesperson Brian Modena told InternetNews.com. "The Web is a key pathway for malware infections today. Mi5 is viewed as innovative because instead of just inspecting incoming traffic, it monitors all traffic coming into and leaving the enterprise. It also tracks malware that jumps network ports."

Syamantec's an acquisitive company. It's purchased MessageLabs, Brightmail, and TurnTide -- to name only anti-spam companies.