Symantec launches Endpoint Protection 12

By Dave Bailey
06 Jul 2011 View Comments
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Enterprise security vendor Symantec has launched version 12 of its Endpoint Protection suite (SEP12), targeting SMEs, managed service providers (MSPs) and large enterprises.

Symantec’s EMEA technical product manager Graham Ahearne said SEP12 comes in three versions, “SEP Small Business Edition (SBE) 12, SEP.Cloud and a standard enterprise version, SEP12, which can scale to hundreds or thousands of users.”

SEP SBE 12 is suitable for businesses with up to a 100 employees, while SEP.Cloud is aimed at firms with up to 250 employees, and also at MSPs who can manage customer infrastructure in their datacentres.

SBE was intended to be a more "hands-off" package, said Ahearne. “It’s designed to be more self-managing than the enterprise version. We've also left technology out, which SMEs don't need, like the network access control (NAC) feature."

SEP SBE 12 features anti-virus, anti-spyware, a firewall and intrusion prevention. “There’s a single client agent and a simplified management console that's easily deployable, and supports Windows and Mac OS X systems,” said Ahearne.

In the hosted SBE.Cloud package, the client has the same technologies, but the management infrastructure is hosted in datacentres (the public cloud) by Symantec or its partners.

The enterprise version, SEP12, has all the technologies present in SEP SBE 12 together with application control, device control and NAC. Device control could be used to stop data being written to USB Flash drives, while application control can be used to prevent users from installing/running certain subsets of applications.

Ahearne said there were various flavours of NAC that could be deployed, and that Symantec offers built-in NAC in the client ready to go.

"There’s also higher levels of NAC based on DHCP, and the highest one using hardware switch-based NAC to control user systems,” added Ahearne.

SEP 12 also features the consumer-based reputation security system Insight and Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response (SONAR).

Insight tracks potential malware using data mining techniques to check for code mutation, and uses data from 175 million endpoint systems, according to Symantec.

The combination of this with the behavioural-based protection from SONAR, which checks what potential malware's Windows processes are doing, results in better security and better performance, Symantec said.

A key feature in the enterprise version is support for virtualised systems from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.

Symantec has also rejigged its reporting and management dashboards, giving better data mining, easier-to-read custom security reports, and export to more formats using pivot tables and charts.

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