PALM DESERT, Calif. – Jan. 31, 2007 – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) will today unveil details of its new Identity Initiative at this year’s prestigious DEMO technology conference. Symantec’s Identity Initiative is a combination of services and software that addresses one of the most pressing problems facing consumers online today: managing their online identities and ensuring the security of online transactions. The initiative is the centerpiece of the company’s Security 2.0 vision to protect consumers everywhere online.
“Our goal is to create a universally accepted identity system across all web sites-- from online financial institutions to retailers-- for millions of consumers,” said Enrique Salem, Group President, Symantec Consumer Business Unit. “We have a strong base to build from, with almost half of our active Norton user base already enrolled in a basic Norton Account. We’ll enable our millions of customers to extend the functionality of their Norton Account to manage all their information, all in one place.”
The Norton Identity Client, which is a simple, single interface for consumers, is being shown at DEMO today. The client would provide consumers with online credentials and give them protected access anywhere they transact on the Internet. This online identity credential will be similar to how a passport or driver’s license functions in the physical world; however, it could be modified as needed and accepted virtually everywhere.
“With increasing online activity and the rise in complex threats, consumers need an added level of protection,” said Chris Shipley, Analyst and Executive Producer of DEMO. “Symantec’s brand reputation makes it a logical company to build the critical mass for this new model, with the participation of both consumers and businesses.”
In addition to solving a key need for consumers, the Symantec Identity Initiative addresses significant business concerns. In fact, 53 percent of Internet users have stopped giving personal information to websites in fear of identity theft and 14 percent have stopped paying bills online.¹ With more secure identities and transactions, businesses will be better able to retain customers and reduce their own risk of fraud.
The cumulative market opportunity for online consumer authentication for banks, brokerages and e-commerce is estimated at $1.1B from 2006 through 2010.²
User-Centric Approach to Sharing Information
Today, consumers regularly engage in online transactions, yet they don’t know with whom they are sharing their identity – information such as personal email address, credit card numbers and home address – and if the third-party is trustworthy. In addition, most consumers manage multiple accounts and rely on common passwords, which also put them at risk for fraud.
- Guides Intelligent Decisions
The Norton Identity Service will provide consumers with information on websites’ reputation and trustworthiness – based on technology and data from Symantec Research Labs and the company's Security Response team. The service will also provide recommendations and options for how to proceed. Users can then make the decision about what to disclose, to whom, and what filtering might be necessary.
- Ensures Safe Use of Personal Information
A key element of the service is one-time use credentials, such as credit cards, postal addresses and email addresses. For example, if a customer is not familiar with a particular ecommerce site, they can elect for Symantec to generate a one-time use credit card, limiting their financial risk. In addition, the identity service also has the potential to support parental controls and the authentication of other personal information such as age and memberships.
- Works Everywhere
Symantec is taking a user-centric approach, making the identity service protocol-independent. The service will interact with websites supported by different identity exchange protocols, such as CardSpace and OpenID.
¹Gartner and Cyber Security Industry Alliance, June 2005
²Consumer authentication: Analyzing the opportunity, 1/23/2006, First Analysis Securities Corp.
Symantec expects to roll out its Identity Initiative worldwide over the next 12-24 months. Even without formal partnerships, the Norton Identity Client will be compatible and functional with the majority of websites.
Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company helps customers protect their infrastructure, information, and interactions by delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability, compliance, and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
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