Symantec: Beyond Viruses
Coca-Cola produces numerous beverages, from juices to bottled water, but people always come back to the brown, bubbly stuff. Symantec has a similar problem: The company offers a slew of security products and services—including firewalls, intrusion detection systems and managed security services—but it is still known largely for its antivirus software.
And for good reason, says Matt Speare, chief information security officer at M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y.: "Symantec is the premiere anti-malware provider in the industry, as far as we're concerned."
Symantec has been faster on the draw lately in countering threats, according to Travis Abrams, information-technology security and systems manager for Tampa, Fla.-based law firm Holland & Knight. Abrams manages about 3,000 desktops for the firm. "There were some problems with [Symantec's] timeliness in the past with virus updates," he says. According to Symantec, the company previously did not issue updates for lower-level threats immediately but now provides "rapid release" definitions to customers that want them.
But Symantec's not only about blocking viruses. Last year, disability insurance provider UnumProvident began using Symantec's managed security services to monitor the company's intrusion detection and prevention systems. Says Lynda Fleury, UnumProvident's chief information security officer: "I'm blocking the noise so I don't have to worry about my people wading through the stuff that doesn't matter."
Symantec is also pushing into new areas. In October it paid $209 million for BindView, a developer of software for assessing vulnerabilities and enforcing security policies across networked computers.
Paul Abels, manager of security policy strategy and business continuity planning at United Parcel Service, wants to see how Symantec incorporates BindView's technology into its flagship anti-malware products. At the same time, Abels would like to consolidate endpoint-based security as much as possible. "Frankly," he says, "I don't want to have another product I have to put out there and manage."