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Symantec unveils Security 2.0 initiative

As part of Security 2.0, Symantec unveiled new products and partnerships with VeriSign and Accenture to help customers secure their databases, manage risk and fight ID theft.

Symantec Corp. says its latest products and partnerships will thwart online outlaws who attempt to raid company databases for sensitive information that can be used for a variety of fraud.

Consumers and enterprises alike need to feel confident that their information is safe and their interactions are secure.
John Thompson,
Chairman and CEOSymantec Corp.

On Tuesday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based antivirus giant unveiled Security 2.0, its strategy for protecting customers from what it calls the next generation of threats targeting personal information and interactions. At a company event in New York, Symantec Chairman and CEO John Thompson said the concept brings together an ecosystem of products, services and partnerships to offer that protection.

"Confidence is the essential component in today's digital world," he said. "Consumers and enterprises alike need to feel confident that their information is safe and their interactions are secure. Otherwise, the digital lifestyle will not be as exciting or dynamic and we will not realize the full potential that new technologies bring to the connected world."

A new product included in Security 2.0 is Symantec Database Security, designed to provide real-time fraud and data leak detection along with auditing capabilities. It caters to businesses, government agencies and academic institutions that are increasingly at risk of data breaches that can damage an organization's reputation and expose millions of people to identity fraud.

Symantec executives cited the growing number of data breaches and the resulting exposure of confidential information as the motivating factors behind the release of the tool. "It has a feature that I call extrusion detection, which alerts administrators when sensitive data is leaving the network," Steve Trilling, Symantec's vice president of research and advanced development, said in an interview recently. "And it operates on a copy of the network traffic, so it doesn't slow anything down."

Trilling said the product builds a profile based on what's considered "normal" interaction with the database and alerts the enterprise when it detects abnormal activity that falls outside the normal profile. It also monitors all information that leaves the database, alerting administrators when someone tries to upload sensitive information like Social Security or credit card numbers.

The product also keeps an audit trail of all activity on the database server, an important feature since enterprises need detailed logs to demonstrate compliance to their auditors.

Along with the new products, Symantec announced two partnerships:

  • One is with Pendleton, Ore.-based Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. The two firms have established Accenture and Symantec Security Transformation Services, an organization that will build and implement data security solutions to help companies assess risk in their IT environments.

  • The other is with Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign Inc. and the goal is to jointly combat online fraud and identity theft. Symantec will offer support for the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) Authentication Service, which allows consumers to use one-time passwords to protect their online identity. The companies also plan to jointly market combined identity and security solutions to financial institutions, online retailers and end users, according to a prepared statement.
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