CUPERTINO, Calif. - March 1, 1999 - Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing, today announced that Norton AntiVirus is the only anti-virus software to be Office 2000-ready. While customers of other anti-virus software must wait for a complete product update to be protected against new macro viruses in Microsoft Office 2000 documents, Norton AntiVirus customers can receive immediate protection with a single mouse click. Norton AntiVirus customers can download the new engine and updated virus definitions via LiveUpdate immediately.
Symantec has also updated the Bloodhound heuristic technology in Norton AntiVirus to detect and repair unidentified macro viruses in Office 2000 documents and spreadsheets. Bloodhound technologies provide Norton AntiVirus users with the most expansive protection against new and unknown boot, file, and Word and Excel macro viruses, as well as Trojan Horses.
Norton AntiVirus is a key component of Norton SystemWorks, the industry's number one integrated utility suite. According to PC Data, Norton SystemWorks is already the third best selling Windows business software. PC Data reports that Norton SystemWorks is also outselling Network Associates' (Nasdaq: NETA) McAfee Office by a three to one margin.
"The new file formats in Office 2000 make the new software suite a target for macro viruses. As a result, we encourage customers who currently use other anti-virus software to ensure protection against this threat by switching to Norton AntiVirus today," said Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec's Security and Assistance Business Unit. "Norton AntiVirus is the only product that includes a detection strategy for the new file formats and protection against Office 2000 viruses on all platforms. We challenge other anti-virus vendors to have the same protection the day Office 2000 launches."
One Office 2000 virus-called W97M.Pri.B-has been discovered to date. However, like Microsoft Office 97, the release of Microsoft Office 2000 will bring new file formats and pave the way for new classes of macro viruses which cannot be detected or repaired by existing virus scanning engines. Symantec has been working closely with Microsoft to ensure that Norton AntiVirus provides the most effective anti-virus detection and repair for Office 2000 viruses across all platforms, in both real-time and on-demand.
Over the past two years, researchers have discovered a number of fundamentally new classes of viruses, including types which target Windows 95/98, Excel, Windows NT, PowerPoint, Microsoft Access, and Java. As with Office 2000, to detect and repair each of these new virus classes, anti-virus vendors had to develop fundamentally new anti-virus scanning engines and distribute these updates to customers.
In 1996, the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) recognized that the emergence of new virus classes demanded an expandable solution. Consequently, SARC developed NAVEX modular engine technology , the only anti-virus solution which enables customers to obtain the latest engine updates for all platforms with a simple virus definitions update -- for the desktop, the file server, the groupware server, and the gateway. Incorporated into all Norton AntiVirus products, the NAVEX engine is built from a single code base to yield consistent protection across the enterprise.
While Norton AntiVirus customers can obtain the latest engines by simply updating their virus definitions, all other anti-virus vendors require customers to reinstall an updated version of their anti-virus product to obtain the latest protection. Because of the high cost of releasing an update to the product, competing anti-virus vendors often stagger their product upgrades over several months. While the desktop protection may be up to date, the file server, groupware server and gateway may all lack the latest engine technology. This inconsistent protection leaves the enterprise wide open to repeat infections and repeated calls to the help desk.
According to research conducted by SARC, large corporations using a non-NAVEX anti-virus offering spend up to 90 times more to deploy new anti-virus protection for such emerging threats. Specifically, a corporation with 100,000 nodes will spend roughly $1,300 to deploy new anti-virus definitions, yet must spend more than $90,000 to test and deploy full anti-virus product updates. Over the past two years, corporations should have updated their engine protection at least 6 times to ensure protection against the latest viral threats. Since the cost of deploying full software upgrades is often too expensive for a large corporation, the computing infrastructure is left largely exposed to new viral threats.
Using Norton AntiVirus with NAVEX means no cumbersome application updates, no reboots, and consistent, up to date protection across the enterprise-all with a simple virus definition update.
Symantec AntiVirus Research Center
The Symantec AntiVirus Research Center (SARC) is the industry's largest dedicated team of virus experts. With offices located in the United States, Japan, Australia, and Europe, the sun never sets on SARC. The center's mission is to provide swift, global responses to computer virus threats, proactively research and develop technologies that eliminate such threats, and educate the public on safe computing practices. As new computer viruses appear, SARC develops identification and detection for these viruses, and provides either a repair or delete operation, thus keeping users protected against the latest virus threats.
Symantec is the world leader in utility software for business and personal computing. Symantec products and solutions help make users productive and keep their computers safe and reliable anywhere and anytime. Symantec offers a broad range of solutions and is acclaimed as a leader in both customer satisfaction and product brand recognition. Symantec is traded on Nasdaq under the symbol SYMC. More information on the company and its products can be obtained at www.symantec.com.
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